Despite a sales prohibition on Apple Inc.’s AAPL Series 9 and Ultra 2 watch models in the U.S., these devices remain available for purchase through third-party retailers.
What Happened: Retailers such as Best Buy, Target, AT&T, and Amazon had the prohibited Apple watches up for sale as of Dec. 26, Business Insider reported. A representative from Best Buy confirmed to the publication about the ongoing sales, while other retailers have not provided comments.
The two models are offered on Best Buy’s website, with the Series 9 priced at $399 and the Ultra 2 at $799. The availability of certain colors was limited at the time of the report.
However, it is unclear how long these smartwatches will stay in stock. The International Trade Commission (ITC) has banned further imports of these models. Apple, which could face a loss of $300 million to $400 million in holiday sales due to the ban, is still selling older watch models.
Earlier in December, Apple stopped sales after the ITC ruled it had violated patents owned by health-tech firm Masimo. Apple has strongly disagreed with the U.S. decision not to veto the ruling and has committed to restoring the availability of the impacted models as soon as possible. Masimo hailed the decision as “a win for the integrity of the U.S. patent system, and ultimately American consumers.”
Why It Matters: In December, Apple issued an internal memo instructing its customer service representatives not to steer customers to locations where they can buy the watches due to the ongoing lawsuit. Despite the ban, several large retailers continue to sell the watches through a legal loophole.
Meanwhile, Apple has decided to fight against the ban imposed by the ITC following the White House’s refusal to intervene. The tech giant has submitted an emergency motion for a temporary suspension of the sales ban while its appeal is under court review.
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