Apple Watch on ice 😰

Apple plans to pause smartwatch sales on Dec. 21.

It’s not often that major products get pulled from store shelves thanks to patent disputes, but it looks like that’s what’s happening on December 21 with the Apple Watch.

In a shocking move, Apple says it will pause sales of the latest Apple Watch models just a few days before Xmas.

If there’s not a last-minute reprieve, like a veto by the Biden administration or an out-of-court settlement, it’s not clear when — or even if — the Apple Watch will go back on sale. The legal battle over blood oxygen sensor technology has dragged on for years and is more twisty than a Hermès double-tour Apple Watch band.

If I were conspiratorially minded, I’d say this was a master stroke by Tim Cook to sell out before the holidays. The Apple Watch is a popular gift, and the uncertainty is bound to juice sales.

In fact, if you are thinking of getting an Apple Watch before the holidays, you should probably pull the trigger now. Best Buy currently has Apple Watches on sale, as does Amazon. And if you really want to save money, Woot! has a sale on a refurbished Apple Watch Ultra for one of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen. (Those are affiliate links, so if you click them and make a purchase, we earn a small commission.)

Also in today’s newsletter:

  • If and when Apple Watch goes on sale again, upcoming models may be getting blood pressure monitoring and sleep apnea detection — both very powerful new health features.

  • I really like wide, gladiator-style Apple Watch bands, and this one’s great for workouts (perfect for your New Year’s resolutions).

  • Apple’s Magic Mouse isn’t very ergonomic, but this setup uses a couple of accessories to stave off carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s a good-looking setup, too. I like the pegboard.

  • When Apple TV+ was announced back in 2019, no one had very high expectations. What did Tim Cook and Apple know about streaming? Well, eat your hat: Apple TV+ now has four of the most popular shows on any platform.

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

A message from the Cult of Mac Deals team

A message from the Cult of Mac Store

Tweetz o’ the day

One more thing ...

The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious.

— Steve Jobs, 2011.

Today’s poll

Will Apple Watch sales really halt?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Results from last Friday’s poll: Do you use AirDrop?

Best reader comment

Subscribe to The Weekender — Get the week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.

Join the conversation

or to participate.