Apple to Remove Blood Oxygen Features in Its Watches. How are You Affected?
Following the temporary lifting of the imposed import ban on the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2, Apple may have finally found a way to avoid the indefinite sales halt of its smartwatches. It was reported the iPhone manufacturer plans to drop its blood oxygen monitoring features from the affected models to avoid the ban due to a patent dispute with Masimo, one that the US Customs office recently approved.
As discovered in the new filing report by Masimo to the US Court of Appeals (via 9to5Mac) earlier this week, the involved party acknowledged the measure Apple made to avoid infringing on the related pulse oximeter components. Notably, this involved removing the blood oxygen app and features from the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 (review) via an update as a temporary solution.
However, a substantial and permanent solution for Apple is to modify the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 by removing the blood oxygen monitoring sensor entirely. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Cupertino company has already started shipping modified Apple Watch units to its retail stores and just waiting for confirmation on when the sale for these models could start.
Will the modification affect the Apple Watch 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in other countries?
It is likely both software and hardware remedies will only impact the newly sold models headed for the USA. It is also possible that a similar measure will be applied in other regions as well, although we have yet to confirm this in the following weeks as we await the decision of the Court of Appeals.
Older Apple Watch models with blood oxygen monitoring, including the Watch Series 8 (review) and OG Watch Ultra, were not covered by the patent dispute and users of these watches can continue to use the feature.
What are your thoughts about the Apple and Masimo patent saga? Do you think the allegations of Masimo against Apple are well-founded? Let us hear your opinion on this matter.