Apple Won't Be Able to Repair Out-of-Warranty Apple Watches Due to Import Ban

When the Apple Watch import ban goes into effect after December 25, 2023, Apple will not be able to repair out-of-warranty Apple Watch models in the United States. Apple Watch repairs typically involve replacing a broken unit with a new model rather than fixing an individual component, and replacement devices will not be available.

apple watch ultra yellow
Apple shared the news with retail employees in a memo that was sent out this week. Portions of the memo were seen by MacRumors, and it was also shared by Bloomberg. Apple is set to stop all U.S. online sales of the Apple Watch in just a few hours, with in-store sales to cease after December 24.

"Product replacement (CRU) programs aren't available in the United States for the watches below: Apple Watch Series 6 or later, Apple Watch Ultra or later," reads the memo.

Apple cannot provide replacements for any out-of-warranty Apple Watch with a blood oxygen sensor, which includes the Apple Watch Series 6 and later and the original Apple Watch Ultra. Customers who damage their Apple Watch will need to wait on repairs until hardware replacements are available again. Software-based repairs will remain available.

Apple Watch models that are under warranty are allowed to be replaced. This includes both the standard one-year warranty for new devices and devices protected through an extended AppleCare warranty.

Customers will not be able to exchange an Apple Watch after the ban comes into effect, but accessories like bands can be replaced and returns will be accepted.

The United States International Trade Commission is putting a stop to imports of Apple Watches with blood oxygen sensing technology, which means Apple cannot bring them to the United States from overseas where they are manufactured. The ITC in October said that Apple infringed on blood oxygen patents owned by medical device company Masimo, and set the ban for December 25.

Apple could avoid a pause in sales if the White House steps in and vetoes the ban, but that has not happened as of yet. The White House has until December 25 to make a decision.

Other options include settling the dispute with Masimo, which would involve Apple having to pay Masimo to license the patent technology, or removing the infringing technology. Apple is working on a software fix for the Apple Watch blood oxygen sensing algorithm that it believes will be sufficient to get the Apple Watch back on store shelves.

While Apple has to stop selling the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, the Apple Watch SE will remain available. Third-party retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart will also be able to continue sales of all Apple Watch models while supplies last.

Top Rated Comments

QCassidy352 Avatar
9 weeks ago
Just a totally insane way to resolve a patent infringement dispute that concerns a single, largely irrelevant aspect of the watch.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DevyniColiai Avatar
9 weeks ago
Over 2 decades and my Casio is still working.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
9 weeks ago

I mean. Let’s be real… this ban will not fully go into effect. There’s just no way…
I mean...it just did. You can no longer buy the Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 on Apple's website or anywhere in the US. Even older models can no longer be purchased

https://www.macrumors.com/2023/12/21/apple-watch-removed-from-online-store/

The only Apple Watch Apple can legally sell is the SE since it doesn't have blood oxygen monitoring so there's no patent it's infringing on
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rafark Avatar
9 weeks ago

This seems to be hurting consumers as well as Apple.
It’s apple’s fault for infringing a patent and for failing to settle this dispute. You can be 101% sure if another company was infringing an Apple patent apple would go nuclear on them.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
9 weeks ago
Louis Rossmann is gonna have a field day with this
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
turbineseaplane Avatar
9 weeks ago

Wow this is nuts.
It's not "nuts"

It's a megacorp playing fast and loose and stealing IP

I'm personally delighted to see them being held to account
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...