As promised, Apple has officially removed the Watch Series 9 from its online shop. Word on the surprise move arrived earlier this week, when the company confirmed that an on-going patent dispute has forced it to pause sales of the flagship smartwatch. Click through to the site, and you’ll find the words “Currently Unavailable” in the place of a Buy button. The Apple Watch Ultra 2 is similarly unavailable. You can, however, still buy the entry-level Apple Watch SE, likely owing to the product’s relatively limited on-board health metrics. You can also still pick up the Series 9 through other online sources. Amazon, for instance, is still promising a pre-Christmas delivery in some areas. The wearable will also still be available at brick and mortal Apple Store locations until Christmas Eve. If you already ordered the watch online for an in-store pickup, you can still do so through December 24, the company confirmed with TechCrunch. Apple’s patent battle with health tech company Masimo has been well documented for the past couple of year. Even while Apple lost a few key rulings, however, Monday’s announcement still came as a surprise to many, given its unprecedented nature. In a statement provided to TechCrunch earlier this week, the company noted that it would continue to fight the decisions,
At the heart of the battle is an optical image sensor used to monitor a wearer’s heart rate. Apple has employed similar technology dating back to 2020 with the arrival of the Series 6. Among other things, Masimo has accused the hardware giant poaching key talent. It claims that Apple, “began hiring Masimo employees, starting with Masimo’s Chief Medical Officer.” There’s never a great time to stop selling one of your biggest products, but the holiday season is especially problematic. While Apple was able to keep sales open down to the wire, some folks may find themselves unwrapping a raincheck this year.