Apple Watch Ban Fallout: Limited Repairs and Exchanges Impacts Users – What You Need to Know

Apple has stopped selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in its US online store. This decision comes as a result of a pending ban related to a patent dispute. Additionally, the company will no longer provide repair services for out-of-warranty watch models.

According to Bloomberg, Apple will not replace out-of-warranty models, including the Apple Watch Series 6, for issues like a broken screen. However, the company will continue to offer software-related help. Representatives are instructed to inform affected customers that they will be contacted once hardware replacements are allowed again.

This decision affects most new Apple Watches sold since 2020, including Apple Watch Series 6, Watch Series 7, Watch Series 8, Watch Ultra, as well as the current Series 9 and Ultra 2. These models feature the blood oxygen feature covered by the patents in question.

The ban stems from a patent infringement lawsuit filed by medical device company Masimo against Apple, claiming that Apple’s blood oxygen monitoring technology violated its patents. This legal battle led to a preliminary injunction barring Apple from selling the Apple Watch Series 9 in the US.

Customers who bought watches before December 25 and models still under warranty will not be affected by the replacement restriction. However, after December 25, Apple will not be able to facilitate exchanges for watches bought before the ban, such as swapping for a different color or size, during the usual return period. Retail staff has been informed that product swaps won’t be permitted, but Apple will still replace accessories like bands. Watches can still be returned for a refund.