Apple may resume selling its smartwatches, despite the import ban.
Last Wednesday, December 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the specified ban was suspended. This means that the technology giant once again has the opportunity to offer customers smartwatches of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 models.
The import ban was introduced last week. International Trade Commission (ITC) of the United States has decided that the technology giant, using a blood oxygen sensor in its smartwatch in the mentioned models, violated the intellectual property of Masimo, which specializes in the manufacture of medical equipment.
In a statement from the U.S. Court of Appeals, the contents of which were reviewed by media representatives, it is indicated that the motion for an interim stay is granted to the extent that the Remedial Orders are temporarily stayed.
Masimo sued the iPhone developer in 2020. The company accused Apple of stealing trade secrets related to health monitoring technology. Masimo also said that the iPhone developer had poached important employees.
In October, Tim Cook’s company said that the firm that charged it had mistakenly tried to use ITC to hide a potentially vital product from millions of users in the United States. The tech giant also claimed that Masimo sought to create free space in the market for its smartwatches with medical technologies, which are copied by similar Apple developments.
The ITC did not consider the arguments of Tim Cook’s company sufficient and justified for this side of the proceedings to be recognized as the winner. Last week, this authority suspended the import and sale of the tech giant’s smartwatches. As part of this decision, it was provided that imported Apple Watches can be sold if these products are still in stock at retailers. Also, the ban does not apply to devices of earlier versions that are not equipped with a blood oxygen sensor.
Against the background of ITC’s unequivocal position, Apple hoped that the White House would reverse the agency’s decision. But the US trade representative, who in this case is the person authorized to act on behalf of the administration of the American president, did not meet the expectations of the technology giant.
Apple Watch sales are an important part of Tim Cook’s company wearable device business, which generated $39.8 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2023.
The tech giant’s share price did not respond to the suspension of the import ban. This indicator was not sensitive to the current external background. At the same time, the cost of Masimo securities on Wednesday showed a decrease of more than 4%.
Currently, in the United States, there is an increase in consumer interest in connected devices that provide full-fledged monitoring of the life process, including counting the number of steps taken, controlling sleep quality, and performing many other functions aimed at supporting health and observing the most rational activity regime. The results of special studies indicate that 26% of American users track their health data through digital channels.
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