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Apple's holiday hurdle: ITC refuses company's request to halt Apple Watch ban

Apple needs a Christmas miracle to save the latest Apple Watches from being banned in the US.
By
December 21, 2023
Apple Watch Ultra with Wayfinder watchface on wrist
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Apple’s motion to halt the looming Apple Watch ban in the US has been denied.
  • The ban will likely come into effect on December 26.
  • Apple will have a chance to appeal and is also planning a software workaround to avoid the ban.

In a holiday setback for Apple, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has rejected the tech giant’s appeal to suspend the impending ban on its latest Apple Watch models. The ITC, on Wednesday, issued a firm directive against Apple, refusing to delay the ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2.

The commission’s order stated, “The commission has resolved to reject Apple’s plea to postpone the remedial orders while the appeal is in progress or in consideration of a potential government shutdown. This decision has been made independently, without considering the materials that the complainants requested the commission to take into judicial notice.”

Apple will stop selling the latest Apple Watch models on Christmas. The company is preemptively pulling the smartwatches from its online and physical stores after an ITC ruling in October determined that the blood oxygen tracking sensor on the devices infringes on patents owned by medical equipment maker Masimo. That said, third-party retailers like Best Buy will still be able to sell the affected Apple Watches until stocks run out.

The decision to ban the import of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will be announced after a Presidential review that’s expected to conclude on December 25. Apple will likely appeal the decision, but as per Bloomberg, the company is also working on a software fix to go around the problem.