Today Apple has told 9to5 Mac that they will halt sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 later this week. From the 9to5Mac article:
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 and Apple Watch Series 9 will no longer be available to order from Apple’s website in the U.S. after 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 21. In-store inventory will no longer be available from Apple retail locations after December 24.
Apple says that the ITC’s ban only impacts sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 because those devices offer blood oxygen monitoring capabilities. The lower-end Apple Watch SE, which lacks this sensor, is unaffected and will remain available for sale.
The ITC’s decision only prohibits Apple from selling the affected Apple models. For now, this means the devices will remain available for purchase from other outlets including Amazon and Best Buy.
However, the order does block all Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 imports to the United States after December 25. At this point, Apple would also be prohibited from selling those devices to resellers, as well. So if the ruling is upheld, it could subsequently impact Apple Watch availability for other retailers as well.
There are three possible ways that Apple could continue selling these watches. The first is that this ruling can be overturned by President Biden, but it is unknown if he will overturn the ruling. The second option is that Apple and Masimo will come to a settlement. The final option is that Apple appeals the ruling and will be able to continue selling the watches while the case is appealed.
I find the timing of when the items will not be available for sale as interesting. December 21st at 3pm is likely the cutoff for shipping in time for holiday delivery. Similarly, Apple stores are open on Decemember 24th, meaning that they will be able to continue selling them up until the end of the holiday. I suspect that Apple would prefer to be able to continue to sell the devices, but using their own words "They must comply with laws in the countries that they operate".
The ultimate outcome is not known at this time. It should be noted that the Apple Watch SE is not affected because it does not have the blood oxygen sensor, which is at the center of the patent dispute.