US Apple Watches Lose Blood Oxygen Feature

US Apple Watches Lose Blood Oxygen Feature

Hold your breath, Apple Watch fans, because there’s a twist in the tale of your favorite wrist-worn tech companion. Following a recent US court ruling, Apple has announced it will be removing the blood oxygen monitoring feature from some Apple Watch models sold in the United States. This decision, while temporary, leaves many wondering what it means for the future of this popular health metric on the Apple Watch.

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A Pinch of Patent Trouble:

The saga stems from a patent dispute between Apple and Masimo, a medical technology company specializing in pulse oximetry, the technology used to measure blood oxygen levels. Masimo claimed that Apple’s blood oxygen sensor in the Apple Watch Series 6 and later models infringed on its patented technology. In late October 2023, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) sided with Masimo, essentially banning the importation of these Apple Watch models into the US.

Taking a Breath, Not Bowing Out:

While the ITC ruling was a blow, Apple isn’t throwing in the towel just yet. The company is appealing the decision and, in the meantime, has opted to disable the blood oxygen feature on affected Apple Watch models sold in the US. This essentially allows them to keep these watches on store shelves while the legal battle unfolds.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you’re in the US and considering buying an Apple Watch Series 6 or later, be aware that the blood oxygen feature will be unavailable. Existing owners of these models in the US will also see the feature disabled through a software update. However, all other features and functionalities of the Apple Watch will remain unaffected.

The Big Picture: A Temporary Hiccup or a Sign of Things to Come?

The removal of the blood oxygen feature is undoubtedly a setback for Apple, especially considering the growing emphasis on health and wellness features in wearables. However, it’s important to remember that this is a temporary measure. If Apple wins its appeal, the blood oxygen feature could be reinstated on US models.

Even if Apple loses the appeal, it’s unlikely to spell the end of blood oxygen monitoring on the Apple Watch. The company could potentially develop new technology that doesn’t infringe on Masimo’s patents, or even partner with Masimo to find a solution.

What to Do Now?

For now, US Apple Watch users simply need to be aware of the missing blood oxygen feature. For those who rely heavily on this metric, alternative options like pulse oximeters or other wearables are available. Ultimately, the future of blood oxygen monitoring on the Apple Watch remains up in the air, but one thing’s for sure: this story is far from over. So, stay tuned, and keep an eye on your wrist – you never know what the next update might bring.

Beyond the Breathe: Exploring Other Apple Watch Features

While the blood oxygen saga unfolds, remember that the Apple Watch offers a plethora of other exciting features. From fitness tracking and workout monitoring to sleep analysis and stress management, there’s a whole world of wellness waiting to be explored on your wrist. So, why not take a deep breath, dive into the other amazing functionalities of your Apple Watch, and let the blood oxygen drama play out in the background?

Remember, innovation is a journey, not a destination. And with Apple’s track record of groundbreaking tech, we can be sure that the future of the Apple Watch, with or without blood oxygen monitoring, will be nothing short of breathtaking.

Stay informed, stay healthy, and stay tuned for the next chapter in the Apple Watch story.

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