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Apple to cease smartwatch sales in the U.S.: Reason disclosed

Apple to cease smartwatch sales in the U.S.: Reason disclosed Apple to halt smartwatch sales in the U.S. (photo: Getty Images)

Apple is discontinuing the sale of its smartwatches, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2, in the United States due to a patent dispute over the technology that monitors blood oxygen levels, according to Reuters.

This decision was made following a ruling by the United States International Trade Commission, which intends to ban Apple from importing its Apple Watch due to alleged patent infringements against Masimo, a company specializing in noninvasive patient monitoring technologies. The sales ban could take effect as early as December 26. Apple's stocks fell by 1.4% following this news.

The decision is currently under review by President Joe Biden until December 25, but Apple has stated that it is already taking steps to comply.

The company announced that it will suspend the sale of the affected watch models on its website starting December 21 and at Apple retail locations after December 24. Other watch models, not including the blood oxygen sensor, will remain available for purchase.

According to experts, it is crucial for Apple to determine whether it can incorporate the blood oxygen level sensor in its future devices. Joe Kiani, the CEO of Masimo, expressed openness to negotiating an agreement with Apple.

According to Counterpoint Research, Apple holds approximately a quarter of the global smartwatch market, and this market share is trending upward in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Previously, Masimo accused Apple of hiring its employees, stealing pulse oximetry technology, and implementing it into the popular Apple Watch smartwatch. The ongoing patent dispute between the two companies raises questions about the future inclusion of such health-monitoring features in Apple's devices.

Earlier reports indicated that Apple plans to significantly increase iPhone production in India, possibly in response to challenges in manufacturing in China.

Additionally, we reported that Chinese officials were prohibited from using Apple devices due to concerns about the potential use of mobile devices for espionage purposes. The ban on Chinese officials using Apple products was part of broader cybersecurity measures implemented by the Chinese government.