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Apple to Halt Selling Wearables this Christmas

CIO Insider Team | Friday, 22 December, 2023
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Apple announced that it will stop selling its flagship wearables at retail stores on Christmas Eve and online first.

Apple lost a patent lawsuit two months ago about the technology used by its wearables to determine a user's heart rate.

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 were instructed by the business to stop being sold after Christmas, which may cause a spike in purchases of the devices during the last week of the holiday shopping season.

Apple's action comes after the International Trade Commission ruled in October that certain Apple Watches violated patents owned by Irvine, California-based Masimo, a medical technology business.

In court, Masimo described how Apple took its top executives and over a dozen other staff members before launching a watch that was patent-protected by Masimo that included pulse oximeter capabilities, which gauge how much oxygen is carried by red blood cells from the lungs to the body.

Apple had two months to reach a license agreement with Masimo for its technology in order to prevent a total sales restriction, or it could file an appeal with the Biden administration to overturn the decision.

In 2020, Apple released the first watch with pulse oximetry. The technology, which it refers to as ‘blood oxygen’, has been included into later versions.

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 were instructed by the business to stop being sold after Christmas, which may cause a spike in purchases of the devices during the last week of the holiday shopping season.

However, Apple's watches have not received FDA clearance to be used as medical devices for pulse oximetry, in contrast to Masimo's W1 gadget.

In the past, Apple has been successful in getting presidents to overrule ITC decisions. A prohibition on the sale of certain iPhones and iPads was lifted by the Obama administration in 2013 after a court found that Apple had infringed on a Samsung patent.

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