Apple has announced that it will temporarily halt sales of two of its latest Apple Watch models in the United States. The decision is a result of an ongoing intellectual property disagreement between Apple and Masimo, a medical technology company, regarding the Blood Oxygen feature. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) issued two orders on October 26 that restrict Apple’s ability to sell products using this feature.
To comply with the ITC orders, online sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be paused on Thursday, with in-store sales being halted after Sunday. Although the orders could potentially affect Apple’s sales, customers who have already purchased these watch models will not encounter any issues with their devices. It’s worth noting that this restriction only applies to U.S. sales, and the availability of both models outside of the U.S. remains unchanged.
While the White House has a 60-day window to review these restrictions, Apple has decided to initiate the sales pause early in order to ensure compliance with the order in case the ITC ruling is upheld. The company’s stock has experienced a decline of over 1% as of midday Monday, likely reflecting concerns over the potential impact on sales and revenue.
If the ITC’s orders stand, Apple may face significant consequences. One order prohibits the import of watches with the Blood Oxygen feature, along with the materials used to manufacture it. The second order includes a cease and desist directive, compelling Apple to stop selling products incorporating the controversial feature.
Apple has expressed its intention to explore all possible options to resume sales of the affected watches as soon as possible, should the ITC ruling remain in effect. While the company has not provided specific details on its planned course of action, it is clear that it considers the availability of these models to be crucial for its overall sales strategy.
Additionally, it is important to note that the paused sales will not impact U.S. customers immediately, as there will be a brief window before the restriction takes effect. However, Apple’s wearables, home, and accessories segment, which includes the Apple Watch, is a significant contributor to the company’s revenue, generating $9.3 billion in the previous quarter. If the pause in sales continues for an extended period, it could potentially have a substantial financial impact on Apple.
Apple’s decision to temporarily halt sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the U.S. due to an intellectual property dispute demonstrates the company’s commitment to compliance with ITC orders and protection of its business interests. While the impact on customers who have already purchased the affected watch models is minimal, Apple’s stock has experienced a decline, reflecting investor concerns. The company has stated its intention to explore all possible avenues to resume sales promptly. However, the outcome of the ongoing dispute and any potential long-term consequences for Apple’s revenue remain uncertain.