Apple halts sales of latest generation of watches

The halt is projected to cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars this holiday season.

Apple plans to halt sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 versions of the Apple Watch in the US due to an ongoing patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo.

The big picture: The International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a decision in October restricting Apple’s watches with the Blood Oxygen measurement feature as part of the dispute.


  • Apple will suspend sales of the affected models online for US customers on Thursday afternoon and in its stores on Sunday to comply with the ITC order.
  • The White House has the authority to decide on the matter and is currently reviewing the case. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai is evaluating the factors before making a decision.
  • The sales suspension is estimated to cost Apple about $300-400 million in holiday-season sales, although it is considered a relatively small impact given Apple’s expected sales during the period.
  • The stock market has not significantly reacted to the announcement of the sales suspension.

Driving the news: If the ITC’s sales ban is not overturned, Apple intends to take necessary measures to resume sales of the affected models in the US as soon as possible.

  • The Apple Watch SE, which does not have the Blood Oxygen feature, will remain on sale in the US after Christmas Eve.
  • This is not the first patent dispute that the Apple Watch has faced, and it is increasingly likely that Apple will need to work out licensing deals or acquire startups specializing in the medical technology field.
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