In news of concern to Apple Watch users, Apple will no longer repair out-of-warranty models from the Apple Watch Series 6 onwards, the company revealed in a memo written to its customer service team this week, reports Bloomberg. The new changes mean that Apple will no longer be able to fix hardware problems on older iPhones, although the company will still be able to help users with software-related issues.

The Bloomberg report also notes that Apple employees were told earlier this week that they can’t inform customers about the availability of the Apple Watch at third-party retailers such as Best Buy and Target because of the legal order. The Cupertino-based tech giant will not be allowed to import any more watches until the International Trade Commission’s ban is lifted, but these Apple Watches are expected to be available at the online retail outlets until the US supply runs out.

The report also stated that Apple’s newer watches are not be available for purchase on the company’s website in the US. Apple’s official website in the US states that the company “no longer sells Apple Watch units in the United States with the ability to measure blood oxygen”.

Why have Apple Watches been banned in US?

The International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Apple has infringed on two health technology patents held by medical technology company Masimo Corp that relate to blood oxygen sensing. The ban will take effect from December 25 and will affect newer versions of Apple Watches sold since 2020, including the Apple Watch Series 6, 7, 8, Ultra and Ultra 2. However, the Apple Watch SE, which does not include the blood oxygen feature, and older Apple Watches are exempt from the ITC’s order.

How long will ban on Apple Watch continue? 

The Apple Watch ban will continue to be prohibited by the ITC order until the Cupertino-based tech giant reaches a deal with Masimo or gets relief from the federal government. In the meantime, the Bloomberg report also notes that Apple is working on a software update which it believes will fix the issue.

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Published: 22 Dec 2023, 09:03 AM IST