Apple May Sell Series 9 and Ultra 2 Watches Without Blood Oxygen App in U.S. Amid Patent Dispute

Apple has readied modified Apple Watch models that "do not contain pulse oximetry functionality," medical technology company Masimo said in a document filed today with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

apple watch series 6 blood oxygen monitoring 1
The filing, viewed by MacRumors, suggests that Apple will be removing the Blood Oxygen app from new Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models sold in the U.S., at least temporarily. This change would allow Apple to sidestep an import and sales ban on Apple Watch models with blood oxygen sensing, which the U.S. International Trade Commission ordered last year after ruling that Apple violated Masimo's pulse oximetry patents. The ban was already temporarily paused shortly after it began last month, but it could have resumed as early as this month, which likely spurred Apple to take this measure.

Apple has started shipping modified Apple Watch models to retail stores in the U.S., according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, but it's unclear when they will go on sale. Apple has yet to respond to our request for comment.

Apple's website still advertises the Blood Oxygen app as an available feature on the Series 9 and Ultra 2 order pages in the U.S. as of writing. The feature can measure and display your body's blood oxygen percentage, and is intended for "wellness purposes only." Existing owners of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 will likely retain access to the feature, and it is not expected to be removed on models sold in other countries.

The feature's removal is likely a stopgap, as Gurman reported that Apple is preparing a software update that would adjust the Blood Oxygen app's algorithms, in an attempt to avoid Masimo's patented technology. It's unclear if this effort will be successful, and the legal battle between Apple and Masimo is likely far from over.

"Apple's claim that its redesigned watch does not contain pulse oximetry is a positive step toward accountability," a Masimo spokesperson told MacRumors. "It is especially important that one of the world's largest and most powerful companies respects the intellectual property rights of smaller companies and complies with ITC orders when it is caught infringing."

Tag: Masimo
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Popular Stories

Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 2

Monday June 24, 2024 12:52 pm PDT by
Apple today released the second betas of iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 to developers, and the software adds support for new features that Apple is working on, plus it tweaks some of the interface changes that have been made in the updates. Apple will refine iOS 18 over the course of the next few months, with multiple changes and refinements expected from now until September. We've highlighted...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
amazon echo dot

Amazon Could Charge Up to $10/Month for Alexa

Friday June 21, 2024 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple competitor Amazon is working on a revamp of its Alexa assistant, and the new version could cost up to $10 per month, according to a report from Reuters. The upcoming version of Alexa will support conversational generative AI, and Amazon is planning for two tiers of service. There will be a free tier and a second, premium tier that is priced at $5 at a minimum, with Amazon considering...
top stories 22jun2024

Top Stories: Apple Watch X Rumors, New Final Cut App for iPhone, and More

Saturday June 22, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
The avalanche of news coming out of WWDC earlier this month is finally starting to slow, but that doesn't mean there wasn't still lots to talk about in Apple news and rumors this week. This week saw some additional rumors about the upcoming Apple Watch models, the release of major Final Cut Pro updates, the launch of Apple's annual Back to School promo in the U.S. and Canada, new...

Top Rated Comments

23 weeks ago
Would be nice if Apple offered a discount since these watches will likely be worth less come trade-in versus those with the technology
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TokyoKiller Avatar
23 weeks ago
Only if Apple would admit fault and pay their dues for using someone else’s technology.

At least it’s not a patent troll that’s giving them grief.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
23 weeks ago
The Series 9 is already an 8.2, wasn’t even worth considering over my Series 4.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
henryhbk Avatar
23 weeks ago
As a physician I am happy they are turning it off, since it basically is a mysterious number to non-physicians, Understanding what that number means and what to do about it except in VERY SPECIFIC situations (like you are in an airplane that depressurizes like the AL flight that popped the door plug) is meaningless to most patients. There are also a couple of life threatening situations where it fools you that all is fine when your life is in imminent danger, the most classical one you learn in medical school is CO poisoning since CO shows as "oxygen" to the sensor and patients will read 100% when in fact they need oxygen to try and force the CO off the hemoglobin (we measure CO2/CO via a arterial blood gas). Additionally the other day my staff told me an asthmatic was hypoxemic with a low oxygen saturation but was now showing 97% after they'd given him a nebulizer before i could get into the room (but they didn't understand an asthmatic absolutely should not be hypoxemic, their problem is exhaling not inhaling and nothing should interfere with absorbing oxygen in asthma, and that represented a huge emergency and that the fact that they magically made the number better meant nothing). I get that from nursing all the time (patient is is respiratory distress but their sats are "ok," so it's not that serious, where that's rarely the issue, you don't breathe from low oxygen but from high CO2 (makes your blood acidic which drives the sensor in your brain) so not helpful in any situations (there are of course many situations where it matters such as heart failure, pulmonary embolism, etc but there is a reason we train for a long time to understand those numbers properly)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
23 weeks ago
The fact that they kept selling and even introducing two more generations after the dispute was already filed in 2021 (if I am not mistaken?) is kind of dumb on Apples part tbh
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
75Batt Avatar
23 weeks ago

Would be nice if Apple offered a discount since these watches will likely be worth less come trade-in versus those with the technology
Not likely at all. It’s a temporary software fix that can be re-enabled in future.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)