Apple will sell latest Apple Watch models again after import ban temporarily stopped by U.S. appeals court

Apple smartwatches ads are displayed as customers take a look at smartwatch accessories at the Apple store in New York, U.S., December 26, 2023. 

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Apple will be able to sell the latest Apple Watches after an import ban was temporarily paused by an appeals court on Wednesday, in a major victory for the iPhone maker.

Apple said in a statement that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models will be on sale at Apple’s stores on Wednesday and that they will be available online starting Thursday.

“We are thrilled to return the full Apple Watch lineup to customers in time for the new year,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, including the blood oxygen feature, will become available for purchase again in the United States at Apple Stores starting today and from tomorrow by 12pm PT.”

Apple stopped selling its Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches last week in stores and online in response to an International Trade Commission order in October that found the blood oxygen sensor in the devices had infringed on intellectual property from Masimo, a medical technology company that sells to hospitals.

“The motion for an interim stay is granted to the extent that the Remedial Orders are temporarily stayed,” a court filing Wednesday said.

On Monday, the Biden administration declined to pause the ITC ban. Apple filed the appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday. The company continues to seek a longer stay. The ITC will need to reply by Jan. 10. Apple said on Wednesday that it had submitted redesigned Apple Watch models for customs approval that could negate the ban.

The stay means Apple may be able to sell the latest models of one of its most important products during the busiest time of the year. Apple Watch sales are reported as part of Appleā€™s wearables business, which reported $39.8 billion in sales in fiscal 2023, which ended in September. Ultimately, Apple was unable to directly sell a few Apple Watch models in the U.S. for a period of days.

The sales pause did not affect the Apple Watch SE, an older model that cannot read blood oxygen levels. The latest Apple Watch models also continued to be available from retailers like Best Buy or Amazon as long as they had stock. 

Masimo shares fell more than 4% on Wednesday. Apple’s stock was flat.

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