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Apple Watch Drops Blood Oxygen Features to Dodge the Import Ban

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Apple is in hot water over a key feature in its latest Apple Watch models. The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 faced a US import ban due to a patent dispute with medical technology company Masimo. Masimo claimed Apple’s blood oxygen monitoring technology infringed on their patents.

Apple Watch Drops Blood Oxygen Features to Dodge the Import Ban

To avoid a sales halt, Apple took a surprising step. News outlets reported that Apple disabled the blood oxygen sensor in the affected Apple Watches specifically for the US market. This came after the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled out Masimo’s patent claims. The ban threatened to halt Series 9 and Ultra 2 sales just before the December holiday. Apple temporarily removed the watches from US stores but secured a legal stay, allowing for continued sales while they appealed the decision.

The solution involved a software update deactivating US models’ blood oxygen app. This move was approved by US Customs and Border Protection, allowing Apple Watches to continue import and sale. However, it means US customers miss out on a potentially valuable health feature.

This situation highlights the complexities of patent law in the tech industry. Apple maintains that its technology doesn’t violate Masimo’s patents, and the case is still under appeal. It’s a reminder that even major tech companies can face legal hurdles that impact product features and sales, especially in specific regions like the US.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 were banned from entering the US due to a blood oxygen sensor patent dispute with Masimo.
  • Apple turned off the blood oxygen feature in US models to avoid a sales ban through a software update.
  • US Customs and Border Protection approved this move.
  • The legal dispute with Masimo is ongoing.

Important Note: While the blood oxygen feature is disabled in the US, it may still be functional on Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 models sold in other countries. Check with your local retailer for specific features that are available in your region.

Apple Watch Drops Blood Oxygen Features to Dodge the Import Ban

End Note

the situation with the Apple Watch’s blood oxygen feature is a reminder that the tech world is constantly evolving alongside legal landscapes. While this feature is missing on US models, for now, the outcome of the court case with Masimo could see its return. Keep an eye on Apple’s official channels or news articles for updates on the case and potential feature reactivations. In the meantime, many valuable health and fitness functionalities are still available on Apple Watches.


Q. Why did the Apple Watch drop the blood oxygen feature to dodge the import ban?

A. Apple Watch dropped the blood oxygen feature to avoid the potential import ban related to a patent dispute with Masimo, a medical device maker. This decision was made to circumvent any issues the US Customs and Border Protection raised.

Q. Is the Apple Watch Series 9 affected by this change?

A. The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra models are impacted by removing the blood oxygen feature to avoid the import ban.

Q. What was Apple’s claim regarding the redesigned watch?

A. Apple claimed that its redesigned watch does not contain pulse and blood oxygen monitoring features.

Q. Why did Apple make this decision despite the potential import ban?

A. Apple decided to drop the blood oxygen feature to circumvent legal issues and continue its international trade activities without interruptions.

Q. Will the Apple Watch still have advanced tech features without blood oxygen monitoring?

A. Despite dropping the blood oxygen monitoring feature, the Apple Watch will still offer a range of advanced tech capabilities.

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