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Why I suddenly rushed to buy an Apple Watch from Amazon (that I didn't really want to buy)

The current legal tangle Apple faces has halted Series 9 and Ultra 2 sales. The race is on to grab the remaining stock, making my quick purchase not just an option but a necessity.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor
Apple Watch on Amazon page
Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Back in 2019, I bought a year old, used Apple Watch Series 4 (even though the Series 5 was already on the market). I liked that I could save $120 over the new edition, and since it was an Apple refurb, I was pretty sure it would work well enough.

Also: Apple Watch: New or refurbished? Why I'm glad I bought a used Series 4

Fast forward to today and, four years later, I'm still wearing it almost 24/7, every day. The only time it's off my wrist is when I give it an hour or so to recharge. That five year old model is still the exact right set of features for me. I haven't found a compelling reason to upgrade.

A few months ago, I tripped and fell. Fortunately, I'm okay, but the Watch sprung to action. I realized that if I were in trouble, it would have been there to get help. Before then, I had tried to convince my wife to wear an Apple Watch, but after seeing the fall detection really work, she saw the value in its added safety features. I want her to have all the protections the latest Apple Watch offers.

She did get the new Series 9 Watch and has been learning its features. Today, she discovered how to customize Watch faces and had a grand time decorating her Watch for Christmas. Over dinner, I told her it was good we got her the Watch when we did, because Apple has been forced to pull the current Series 9 and Ultra 2 models. They are no longer for sale from Apple.

After she expressed the same level of startlement I think we're all feeling, I gave her a quick overview of the situation. All this is because of a patent dispute between Apple and a medical device maker. You can read the whole story here:

Also: Why Apple is halting US sales of its Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models (and where to buy them now)

I'll tell you what I told her. I think this is a temporary condition. Apple will pay someone something or wield the force of their legal team, and the matter will be resolved. Eventually. After all, Apple has one heck of a big bank account and that translates to a very big war chest. But it may take time, and the courts might be stubborn. As such, new Apple Watch Series 9's from Apple may be off the market for a while.

Denise immediately asked if other outlets, like Amazon and Target, were still able to sell out of their existing inventory. The answer on that is yes. While they still have inventory.

"Well, you have to buy one. Right now. Tonight." This was her response.

Why I bought the Watch

Even though a new Series 9 Watch is expensive to me (especially the 45mm cellular one), her reasoning makes sense. I rely on the Apple Watch. It's with me constantly. I use it for keeping in touch with all my constituents via notifications, and I use it for health and sleep tracking. As a middle aged man, it is one of the most mission-critical devices in my life.

My current five year old Series 4 Watch is pretty beat up. I've used it for years, including banging it against innumerable walls and subjecting it to the dangers of use in an active workshop. It could die any day.

Review: Apple Watch Series 9: Don't settle for the less expensive models this year. Here's why

Up until today, that didn't matter to me. If my Series 4 died, I could get a new one within hours, if I wanted to hop into the car, or within a day or so if I ordered it online. Or so I thought.

No more. When the Apple Watch Series 9 is out of stock, it's gone. At least for now, until the legal issues are resolved. As you can see from the image below, most of the Watch models are already sold out. My guess is by Friday, if not earlier, they'll all be gone. So I bought one.

Screenshot by David Gewirtz/ZDNET

Should you rush to buy one, too?

So, should you, like me, rush out and buy a (possibly unwanted) new Apple Watch? If your current Apple Watch is as mission-critical to you as mine is to me, possibly. You'll need to do the age/reliability calculus for your own situation, but it might be a good idea.

If you've been just thinking about getting a Watch, the rush might not be necessary, but again, you'll need to factor in your own use case and how important you find the Watch's very capable health and safety features.

Also: ZDNET's Apple Watch buying guide

As for me, I'll be a little nervous until Amazon's track package status indicates the product has shipped (it hasn't yet) and a little more nervous until the package actually arrives safely. That said, as much as this definitely wasn't an expense I expected for at least a year (until the Series 10 or 11 has blood pressure monitoring), I'm convinced this was a smart move given how central that Watch is to my day-to-day and hour-to-hour life.

What about you? Are you planning on rushing out to get a Series 9 before they're all gone? Do you have an Apple Watch now? Let us know in the comments below.

You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to subscribe to my weekly update newsletter on Substack, and follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.

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