Apple Watch ban has huge ramifications beyond Series 9 and Ultra 2 sales — Apple will have to stop Genius Bar replacement services for several older models too

Apple Watch Ultra with yellow band in garden
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The Apple Watch ban has finally pushed Apple into ceasing all sales for the Series 9 and Ultra 2, but this has implications for much more than just buying a new one.

For context, the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are about to be banned in the U.S. due to a legal dispute, where medical equipment company, Masimo, claims that the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen feature is a violation of its patent. As it doesn’t have this feature, the Watch SE 2 can still be sold.

As originally reported by Bloomberg, Apple will have to stop offering repairs on any Watches that are out-of-warranty, and this includes Watches that Apple doesn’t sell from their site anymore like the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch Series 7, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra. You can still get support for software issues, but breaks and scratches are now on you to fix. 

How do you upgrade? – iMore’s take

In that same Bloomberg article, Mark Gurman said, “Company representatives were told to tell affected customers that they will be contacted when hardware replacements are allowed again.” This uncertainty is potentially offputting for new buyers but for someone looking for an upgrade, it’s hard to really know when it makes sense to anymore. Those on older watches may start to feel the battery going dead a little earlier in the day or may be noticing a few scratches on the device. It makes sense to start looking around for an upgrade if you’re on an older device, especially the 3-year-old Series 6. 

You could roll the dice on a deal from a third-party seller but if something goes wrong and you end up with a big crack on your brand-new Series 9, you could be left with the option of just waiting an indefinite amount of time for it to be repairable again. If you haven’t picked one up already, it may be worth waiting until the Apple Watch X to make up your mind.

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.