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Apple Will Start Selling Series 9 and Ultra 2 Watches Without Blood Oxygen Sensor

Starting today, Apple is set to offer the Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches in the United States without the inclusion of the blood oxygen feature. This development follows a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court, which rejected an extension on the pause for the import ban affecting both smartwatch models. The denial of the extension led to the retraction of the blood oxygen feature from the Series 9 and Ultra 2 watches, exclusively for the U.S. market. Importantly, this ban does not affect the availability of the Series 9 and Ultra 2 with blood oxygen features in other regions.

Reports from Bloomberg, independently confirmed by IGN, indicate that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) imposed the ban due to an ongoing patent dispute between Apple and health tech company Masimo, specifically concerning the oxygen saturation (SpO2) sensor. Last month, both the Series 9 and Ultra 2 were temporarily withdrawn from the market to comply with the ban. Shortly thereafter, Apple won an appeal to delay the ban’s enforcement, but the recent court decision means the blood oxygen feature will no longer be included in the U.S. models.

The revised Series 9 and Ultra 2 smartwatches, without the blood oxygen feature, will be available for purchase in Apple’s retail stores and on the official website. Apple assures customers who purchased these wearables before the initial ban that there will be “no impact” on their devices.

The decision to remove the blood oxygen features is not unexpected, as earlier reports from 9to5Mac indicated that Apple had planned a workaround to eliminate the sensor on both wearables. The blood oxygen sensor was first introduced to Apple’s wearables with the Series 6 in 2020, later making its way to the Series 7 and the Ultra, before being incorporated into the Series 9 and Ultra 2 last year. Apple has since discontinued the sale of the Series 6, Series 7, and the Ultra. However, the SE (Gen 2), Series 9, and Ultra 2 are currently available for purchase, with the SE remaining unaffected by the ban, as it is the only Apple wearable without the blood oxygen technology.

Notably, Masimo had previously sued Apple in the year leading up to the release of the Series 6, alleging patent infringement related to blood oxygen technology. The legal complaint also included accusations that Apple engaged in employee poaching from Masimo.

 

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