Apple's Watch ban could be a $400 million mistake — Masimo patent dispute could cost the company big in holiday sales

Apple Watch series 8
(Image credit: Future / iMore)

A new analyst estimate has revealed that Apple’s decision to suspend the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 sales as part of a patent dispute with health company Masimo could cost the company up to $400 million in sales. 

The report follows news this week that Apple will suspend online sales of its Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 starting December 21, pulling them from store shelves on December 24. The company is awaiting the deadline of a presidential review into an ITC ruling that could ban imports of both devices into the country after Apple was ruled to have infringed on patents held by Masimo in relation to the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen technology. 

Apple is pre-emptively pulling sales of its best Apple Watch models in anticipation that President Biden will not veto the ban, although there’s still time for a White House intervention. 

 An expensive mistake 

Clearly, Apple has messed up in its application of the Blood Oxygen feature in the Apple Watch, and while it says it strongly disagrees with the order and plans to fight it legally, the impending sales suspension looks set to cost Apple big. Business Insider reports that Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives estimates the move “will likely cost Apple about $300-400 million in holiday-season sales” and “couldn’t have come at a worse possible time.” 

Apple is reportedly exploring technical fixes behind the scenes that could change the way Blood Oxygen data is delivered to customers in a bid to get around the ruling. It follows reports that Masimo CEO Joe Kiani would be happy to sit down with Apple to agree on a settlement, but that Apple doesn’t seem interested. Kiani wants royalties for Masimo and an Apple apology for stealing its intellectual property, as well as poaching some team members. 

With the holidays just days away, here are all the places you can still buy an Apple Watch in the US.

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9