Some Apple Watch sales will be halted starting Thursday; stock falls


Shares of Apple Inc. dropped Monday, after the Wall Street Journal reported the technology giant would halt some Apple Watch sales in a preemptive move to comply with a U.S. import ban regarding the use of blood-oxygen sensors.

The company

confirmed to CNN it will no longer be selling its Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, starting Thursday on and from retail locations after Dec. 24.

“While the review period will not end until December 25, Apple is preemptively taking steps to comply should the ruling stand,” the company said in a statement, according to the report. “Apple strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers.”

If the order stands, Apple said it will “continue to take all measures to return Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 to customers in the U.S. as soon as possible.”

The ban, which would include the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, comes after the U.S. International Trade Commission found that Apple violated patents in most new models of its smartwatches since 2020, the WSJ report said.

Apple’s stock fell 0.85% in trading Monday, to buck the rallies in the technology sector
and the broader stock market.

The stock’s decline snapped a seven-week win streak in which it has soared 17.4%, and included a record close of $198.11 on Dec. 14.

Apple said it believes the ITC’s findings are inaccurate and should be reversed. It said it plans to take the decision to the Federal Circuit.

The commission had found in October that Apple violated medical-technology company Masimo Corp.’s

patents related to measuring blood-oxygen levels. That led the commission to issue an order to ban the import of certain Apple Watches.

The Biden administration has 60 days to overrule the Trade Commission’s order.

Masimo shares rallied 5.5% in afternoon trading Monday.

While Apple didn’t provide data on Apple Watch sales in its latest earnings report, it did say wearables, home and accessories revenue came in at $9.3 billion during the fiscal fourth-quarter ended Sept. 30.

The device, which initially struggled to gain an identity of its own in a product line bejeweled with iPhone, iPad and Mac products, is now among Apple’s hottest-selling products. Its growing popularity in great measure is as a safe, easy-to-monitor proxy for iPhone. As a result, Apple is pushing its nearly decade-old product as never before.

Read more: The Apple Watch may now be a back-to-school necessity

Apple’s stock, which has eased 1% since closing at a record $198.11 on Dec. 14, has run up 50.8% year to date while the Nasdaq Composite

has rallied 42.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

has gained 12.6%.

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