Blood Oxygen Features Removed from Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2: In a recent development aimed at settling a legal dispute with medical technology giant Masimo, Apple has made significant alterations to its latest Apple Watch models. This move involves the removal of the pulse oximetry functionality from new and unsold models, as disclosed in a report submitted by Masimo to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
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Apple Watch Series 9: Understanding the Dispute
The legal battle centers around allegations of patent infringement related to pulse oximetry technology, resulting in an import and sales ban imposed by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) last year. Although temporarily halted earlier, the ban could have resumed this month, prompting Apple to take proactive measures.
Swift Actions by Apple
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple has already initiated the shipment of modified Apple Watch models to U.S. retail stores. However, the exact timeline for their availability remains uncertain. Apple has not yet addressed inquiries seeking clarification on these recent developments.
Contradictions on Apple’s Official Website
Despite the modifications, Apple’s official website still promotes the Blood Oxygen monitoring app as a feature on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models within the U.S. The adjustment, therefore, implies a temporary suspension rather than a permanent removal of this capability. Existing owners of Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 are reassured that their access to the function will remain unaffected, both in the U.S. and in other countries.
Preemptive Measures and Software Update
This strategic move by Apple is perceived as a preemptive step to circumvent the ITC’s Apple Watch ban. Gurman notes that Apple is concurrently working on a software update to modify the Blood Oxygen tracking app’s algorithms on already sold Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches. This effort is aimed at addressing Masimo’s patented technology and potentially finding a resolution to the ongoing legal dispute.
In response to Apple’s actions, Masimo has acknowledged the acknowledgment and steps taken by Apple regarding the pulse oximetry function. A spokesperson from Masimo stated, “Apple’s claim that its redesigned watch does not incorporate pulse oximetry is a positive step towards responsibility.”
Legal Future Unveiled
As the legal battle unfolds, the effectiveness of Apple’s software update in addressing Masimo’s patent concerns remains to be seen. The tech giant’s strategic maneuvers and proactive approach may determine the outcome of the dispute and shape the future of pulse oximetry technology in wearable devices.
In navigating the complex legal landscape, Apple’s decision to modify its Apple Watch models reflects a commitment to resolving disputes while maintaining product features. The ongoing efforts to address patent concerns through software updates indicate a dedication to both innovation and legal compliance.