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White House is tracking Apple Watch ban with no sign of intervening

Apple Watch Ultra 2

Those hoping the White House will step in and stop an impending Apple Watch ban may need to look elsewhere, as word from the administration offers almost no information.

Apple doesn't have many options before the International Trade Commission's Apple Watch ban goes into effect on December 25. A software update could help avoid a ban or intervention from the White House, but the latter is increasingly unlikely.

According to a report from Bloomberg, the Biden administration is "tracking" the Apple Watch ban due to the Masimo patent dispute. While the President could stop a ban, the power to veto has been deferred to the US Trade Representative.

The White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the top US trade official Katherine Tai is "carefully considering all of the factors in this case." There is no indication if the White House intends to intervene or make any decision before the December 25 deadline.

Apple intends to appeal the Apple Watch import ban, which affects all models with the violating blood oxygen sensor first used in the Apple Watch Series 6. Since Apple only sells the latest models new, only the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are being removed from sale.

Third-party sellers with inventory of any Apple Watch can still sell them without limits. When that stock runs out, that's when US customers will be left with only used markets and the Apple Watch SE.

Apple intends to contest the ITC's decision as soon as the deadline for the White House intervention passes on December 25. There is a chance that the import ban could last through the lengthy appeals process well into 2024, but Masimo is also open to settlement.