Apple to halt sale of dive computer Apple Watch in the US

Apple to halt sale of dive computer Apple Watch in the US

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Apple to cease sales in the US of Apple Watch Series 9 and Dive Computer Ultra 2 amid patent dispute.

Apple to pull Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 this week due to ITC ban

In a move impacting tech enthusiasts and divers alike, Apple has announced the cessation of sales for its Apple Watch Series 9 and the dive computer-equipped Ultra 2 models in the United States. This decision, effective from December 21st, 2023, arises from a patent dispute with medical device maker Masimo.

Background of the Ban

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has imposed an import ban on these specific Apple Watch models, focusing on the SpO2 sensor technology. This sensor, crucial for monitoring blood oxygen levels, is particularly significant for the Ultra 2 model, which doubles as a dive computer. The ban affects sales within the US but spares other models like the Apple Watch SE and previous versions with the blood oxygen sensor.

Masimo's Legal Actions

Masimo, a company known for its pulse oximeter, has been embroiled in legal disputes with Apple, accusing the tech giant of infringing on its pulse oximetry technology. The dispute involves two cases, with the current ban resulting from the ITC case.

Apple's Response

Apple has strongly disagreed with the ITC's decision. Spokesperson Nikki Rothberg emphasized the company's commitment to ensuring the Apple Watch's availability, including pursuing legal and technical options. Apple is also exploring software changes to mitigate the patent infringement issues.

Presidential Review Period

The ITC's decision is under a presidential review period, ending on December 25th. President Biden has the option to veto the ban, a decision that has historical precedence but remains rare. The tech community and consumers are keenly awaiting the outcome of this review.

Implications and Future Steps

If the ban stands, Apple intends to reintroduce the affected models, including the Ultra 2 dive computer, in the US market. This could involve legal appeals or technical modifications to address the patent concerns. The situation is dynamic, with potentially significant impacts on Apple's product offerings and strategies.

The halt in sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Ultra 2 dive computer in the US highlights the intricate interplay of patent rights and consumer technology. This development is particularly noteworthy for the diving community, given the Ultra 2's unique functionality. As developments unfold, Apple's responses will be closely watched for their broader implications in the tech and diving sectors. 

U.S. International Trade Commission

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