Why Apple is pausing US sales of its latest Apple Watch series

Apple has decided to stop selling two of the latest versions of its Apple Watch in the U.S. right before Christmas due to a patent dispute over its blood oxygen feature, the company confirmed to multiple sources including CNN and Axios. 

Starting Thursday, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be pulled from Apple.com, and sales at its retail locations will pause after Christmas Eve. 

The company told CNN it is taking the “preemptive step” of stopping the watch sales to comply with orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) back in October. The case is currently under a 60-day review period by the Biden administration, which ends on Dec. 25. 

The ITC said Apple violated medical technology company Masimo’s pulse oximeter patent, which uses light-based technology to read blood-oxygen levels. 

If the ban moves forward after the review period, it will impact Apple Watch Series 6 and later and all models of Apple Watch Ultra, according to CNN. 

The company told multiple outlets it “strongly disagrees with the order and is pursuing a range of legal and technical options to ensure that Apple Watch is available to customers.”