Apple has stopped selling Apple Watches on its website due to a patent dispute

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 device is displayed for sale at The Grove Apple retail store on launch day in Los Angeles, California on September 22, 2023.

Patrick T. Fallon AFP | Getty Images

Apple has stopped selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 smartwatches on its US website, CNBC checks show.

The website for the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 said they were “currently unavailable” when viewed on Thursday. The page now includes a promotional image of the Apple Watch SE, a low-cost model first introduced in 2022 that will not be affected by the patent dispute.

Apple said earlier this week that it would stop selling the latest Watch models on its website on Thursday and in Apple stores starting Sunday. Older models are still available.

“After December 24, 2023, Apple will no longer sell Apple Watch units with the ability to measure blood oxygen in the United States,” according to the fine print on Apple's product pages.

The sales suspension follows orders from the International Trade Commission in October, which found that the device's blood oxygen sensor infringed intellectual property from Masimo, a medical technology company that sells to hospitals. Apple will be restricted from importing devices that are manufactured in China.

The pause means Apple isn't selling the latest models of one of its most important products in its biggest market during Apple's busiest sales time of the year.

It can also make it harder for consumers to repair their existing watches by preventing them from having to exchange broken older hardware that isn't under warranty. According to Bloomberg News.

An Apple representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

Shares of Apple were down slightly in trading on Thursday.

President Biden could still veto the ITC ban before Christmas, but a White House spokeswoman said earlier this week that the decision would be left to U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tay.

“We are following this case and the December 25 deadline,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday.

The US trade representative “has the authority of the president to make these decisions,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that Ambassador Catherine Tay “will carefully consider all the factors in this case.”