Apple has decided to disable the blood oxygen level detection function in its latest smartwatches, Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2.. This move will allow the company to circumvent the ban on importing smartwatches into the United States, imposed as a result of losing a patent dispute with Masimo.
Masimo reported that on January 12, US Customs and Border Protection approved Apple's proposed change to watch functionality.. The agency » determined that Apple's redesign exceeded » the import ban imposed by the US International Trade Commission. This suggests that Apple's changes will allow it to continue selling its watches in the US.
In October, the ITC ruled that Apple devices infringed Masimo's patents related to technology for measuring blood oxygen levels.. This forced Apple to suspend sales of Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 on the twentieth of December. True, Apple was soon able to obtain permission to temporarily resume sales, but by January 12 it lost its power, and the company had to take more radical measures. Apple has come up with a workaround — block the function of measuring blood oxygen levels programmatically. The decision was submitted to US Customs last week.. Apple explained that the updated watch «definitely» does not contain the technology in question.
Removing Pulse Oximetry Technology from Apple Watch Is a Desperate Move. The company's engineers were working on a software update that would change the blood oxygen level app and its algorithms to bypass the ban without disabling the feature itself.. But disabling the feature entirely was likely the quickest way to avoid the sales ban being reintroduced.
» Apple may have paid a high price to circumvent the US import ban ,» writes Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Tamlin Bason.. “ It was a very hyped feature. ”. The expert also noted that while eliminating the immediate risk of a ban is a positive for Apple, the move “ could reduce consumer demand .”
Apple has already started shipping modified Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches to retail outlets in the US. Stores were told not to open or sell modified devices until they received approval from Apple headquarters.
In addition, a federal appeals court is expected to hear Apple's request to suspend the ban this week.. So far, the ban has been lifted on an emergency basis, pending a hearing.. Last week, the ITC urged the appeals court to reject » weak and unpersuasive » arguments in support of an attempt to block the trade agency's enforcement of the ban.