It actually happened! The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are no longer available to buy at Apple's online store in the US just days before Christmas, unless President Biden intervenes

Apple Watch Series 9 review
(Image credit: Future)

The best Apple Watch models have been removed from Apple’s online store in the United States in anticipation of a ban on imports of both set to take effect December 25.

Earlier this week, Apple announced that it would stop selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 via its online platform after the International Trade Commission’s ruling that the blood oxygen monitor in the latest Watches violated a patent from a medical company called Masimo.

Now, as previously announced for December 21, you can no longer purchase these Apple Watch models directly from Apple online — when attempting to buy, the online store shows “Currently Unavailable.” While the Watches are still available in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores across the country, they will be removed from sale on Christmas Eve in just a few days.

Following December 24, you’ll still be able to buy the Series 9 and Ultra 2 from other retailers like Best Buy, but Apple will only sell the Apple Watch SE, a model that doesn’t have the blood oxygen sensor.

Biden to step in?

While Apple has already removed the Apple Watches from its online store, there is still a chance that the best smartwatches on the market become available again sooner rather than later. 

The Biden administration could intervene, vetoing the import ban on the blood oxygen models of the Apple Watch into the US, but it only has until Christmas day to do so.

If the White House opts out of intervention, Apple will only be able to bring the Apple Watch back to its retail outlets by removing the blood oxygen sensor. However, one report has said Apple is scrambling to develop a workaround to keep the latest Watches on sale.

As reported by Bloomberg, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday that US trade official Katherine Tai is "carefully considering all of the factors in this case," so we could yet see another twist in this tale.

One thing’s for sure: if you want to gift an Apple Watch Series 9 or an Apple Watch Ultra 2 this holiday season, your best bet won’t be Apple.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.