Apple’s website for the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 said “currently unavailable” when viewed Thursday. The page now features a promotional image for the Apple Watch SE, a lower-cost model first introduced in 2022 that is unaffected by the patent dispute.
Apple said earlier this week that it would stop selling its latest Watch models on its website on Thursday and in Apple stores starting after Sunday. The Apple Watch SE is still available from Apple and retailers will be able to sell the latest models while they still have stock.
“Following December 24, 2023, Apple no longer sells Apple Watch units in the United States with the ability to measure blood oxygen,” according to fine print on Apple’s product pages.
The pause in sales is in response to orders from the International Trade Commission in October that found that the device’s blood oxygen sensor had infringed on intellectual property from Masimo, a medical technology company that sells to hospitals. Apple will be prevented from importing the devices, which are manufactured in China.
The pause means Apple is not selling the latest models of one of its most important products in its largest market during the busiest time of the year for Apple sales.
It could also make it more difficult for users to get repairs for existing watches by preventing swaps of broken older hardware not under warranty, according to Bloomberg News.
An Apple representative didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Apple shares were down slightly during trading on Thursday.
President Joe Biden could still veto the ITC ban before Christmas, but a White House spokesperson said earlier this week that the decision would fall to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai.
“We’re tracking this case and the Dec. 25 deadline,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday.
The U.S. trade representative “has the President’s delegated authority to make these determinations,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that Ambassador Katherine Tai is “carefully considering all of the factors in this case.”
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