Apple's Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Face Ban: What's Next?

The tech giant Apple is grappling with a setback as the US International Trade Commission (ITC) has denied its motion to delay the import and sales ban on the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2. In a surprising turn of events, the ITC's decision follows a ruling in October, citing the infringement of Masimo's patents related to SpO2 sensors. This article delves into the intricacies of the situation, examining Apple's response, potential alternatives, and the broader implications for the wearable tech industry.

The Denied Motion

In a recent filing, Apple's bid to postpone the ban was met with resistance from the ITC, emphasizing the urgency of implementing the remedial orders. This raises questions about the effectiveness of Apple's legal strategies and the potential impact on its reputation in the tech industry.

SpO2 Sensors Controversy

The heart of the matter lies in Masimo's allegations that Apple's SpO2 sensors infringe on their patented technology. We explore the details of the controversy, shedding light on the legal intricacies and the significance of these sensors in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.

Apple's Reaction

Faced with the ITC ruling, Apple made a strategic decision to remove the affected watches from its stores by December 24th. However, the ban officially takes effect on December 26th, prompting speculation about Apple's plans and potential software changes to circumvent the ban.

Exploring Alternatives

Bloomberg reports suggest that Apple is actively exploring software changes as a possible solution. This section delves into the viability of such changes and the challenges Apple might encounter in implementing them successfully.

Commission's Statement

An excerpt from the ITC filing provides insight into the Commission's rationale for denying Apple's motion. The article analyzes the potential impact of a government shutdown on this decision, adding another layer of complexity to the situation.

Apple's Silence

The lack of an immediate response from Apple to media inquiries raises questions about the company's communication strategy. Speculation abounds regarding the next steps Apple might take to mitigate the consequences of the ban.

Impact on US Retailers

While Apple faces restrictions, third-party retailers like Best Buy can continue selling the affected watches until their supplies run out. This section explores the implications for retailers and consumer access to Apple's products.

Presidential Veto Possibility

Apple's glimmer of hope lies in the possibility of a presidential veto. However, as my colleague Victoria Song aptly puts it, this occurrence would be akin to lightning striking the same place twice. We analyze the feasibility and historical context of such a rare event.

Lightning Strikes Twice?

Delving into the rarity of presidential vetoes, we examine the historical context and the challenges Apple would face in securing this extraordinary intervention.

The Global Perspective

Highlighting that the ban is confined to the US, this section explores international reactions and potential global implications for Apple's wearable tech market.

Consumer Responses

A glance into social media and online discussions reveals the diverse reactions to the ban. Apple enthusiasts and the general public share their opinions on the ITC decision and its impact on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2.

Apple's Legal Strategies

Analyzing Apple's potential legal maneuvers, we consider the company's historical success in contesting bans and the legal landscape it faces in this particular case.

Future of Wearable Tech

Looking beyond the immediate challenges, we explore the broader implications for the wearable tech industry. How will the ban on Apple's watches influence innovation and competition in this rapidly evolving sector?


In summary, the denial of Apple's motion adds a layer of uncertainty to the tech giant's future. As the ban looms, questions persist about Apple's next moves and the potential long-term impact on its standing in the wearable tech market.

Unique FAQs After The Conclusion

  1. Q: Can Apple still sell the Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 internationally?

    • A: Yes, the ban only applies within the United States, allowing international sales to continue.
  2. Q: What are the specific patents Apple is accused of infringing?

    • A: Masimo alleges infringement on patents related to SpO2 sensors, a vital component of health monitoring.
  3. Q: How likely is it for President Biden to veto the ban?

    • A: The likelihood is considered low, as presidential vetoes in such cases are historically rare.
  4. Q: How will the ban affect Apple's competitors in the wearable tech market?

    • A: Competitors may seize the opportunity to gain market share, but the overall impact depends on Apple's response.
  5. Q: Are there precedents for tech companies successfully overturning ITC bans?

    • A: Yes, some tech companies have successfully contested ITC decisions through legal and strategic maneuvers.
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