Biden Administration’s Apple Watch Ban: What Does it Mean for You?

In response to a lawsuit from the medical monitoring technology company Masimo, the administration of US President Joe Biden decided on Tuesday not to reject a government tribunal’s decision to forbid the importation of Apple Watches.

This indicates that as of Tuesday, the ban on the importation and sale of Apple Watches that use patent-infringing technologies to measure blood oxygen levels will be in place.

How will the US market be impacted by the Apple Watch ban?

• Apple sent a note to its customer support representatives notifying them that the company will no longer be replacing out-of-warranty products in the US, going all the way back to the Apple Watch Series 6.

• As a result of this modification, problems with these models’ broken screens will no longer be resolved by Apple’s replacement service; however, help with software-related difficulties, like reinstalling the operating system, will still be offered.

• The majority of newly sold Apple Watches since 2020 are affected by the ruling, including the Series 6, 7, 8, and Ultra models as well as the current 9 and Ultra 2 models, all of which have the blood oxygen function protected by the relevant patents.

• The one-year basic warranty, which may be extended with AppleCare, does not affect customers who bought watches before to the ban or models that are still covered by warranty.

• After the prohibition, Apple will not allow returns for watches bought prior to the ban, such as exchanging sizes or colors. But bands and other accessories can still be changed, and watches can still be returned for a refund.

• The restriction only applies to Apple and its “affiliated companies, parents, subsidiaries, or other related business entities,” and other merchants selling Apple Watches may be exempt.

• Apple has already ceased selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 on its online shop in the United States, while the more cheap Apple Watch SE is unaffected and still available for purchase. However, Series 9 Apple Watches were still available in the United States from retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart.

• The US tribunal order will have no effect on Apple Watch sales in India.

What comes after the US bans imports of Apple Watches?

Until Apple obtains a license from Masimo or finds a solution, the watches will remain prohibited.

Apple is still able to file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit about the prohibition.

The IT behemoth is working on a software update that it hopes will solve and lessen the issue.