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Apple Shares Took a Hit After Reports It Will Discontinue US Sales of Latest Smartwatches

Apple share Hit

Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares took a hit after the company said on Monday that it would halt sales of its Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the United States after this week, as the tech giant struggles with patent disputes regarding the technology that enables the blood oxygen feature on the devices. 

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will not be available for sale in the United States from later this week. The move comes after the U.S. International Trade Commission(ITC) passed an order in October that could stop Apple from importing its smartwatches after finding the device violates California-based medical technology company Masimo’s (MASI.O) patent rights. 

The initial complaint from 2021 revolves around blood oxygen technology first used in the Series 6 watch. Masimo claimed that Apple “began hiring Masimo employees, starting with Masimo’s Chief Medical Officer. In the Fall of 2020, Apple introduced the Series 6, manufactured in Asia.”

However, Apple has fought back and said that it will appeal the ruling when the U.S. presidential review period ends on December 25. The tech giant also accused Masimo of holding back a potentially lifesaving product from the American populace. 

Apple can appeal through the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, however, there is also a slight chance that the Biden administration could veto the ITC ruling before that happens. The Masimo patent on blood oxygen technology will not expire until August 2028. 

The smartwatch ban comes as a big blow to Apple as the wearables and home accessories business made $9.32 billion in net sales during the latest quarter, making almost 10% of total sales. 

Apple’s shares were down 1% at $195.64 on Monday, after dropping as low as $194.39 earlier this season. 

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Key Takeaways

  • Apple Inc. will halt the sale of its latest Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches later this week as the company struggles with a patent dispute over blood oxygen sensor technology with California-based medical technology firm Masimo.  
  • The U.S. International Trade Commission upheld a judge's ruling that Apple infringed on medical technology firm Masimo Corp.’s patents.
  • Apple is all set to appeal the ruling after the end of the U.S. presidential review period after December 25 to get the watches back on the market
  • Apple Inc.’s shares were down 1% at $195.64 on Monday.