Apple has finally come up with a workaround for the recent ban on two of its watches: the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Ultra 2. It will ditch the blood oxygen measurement feature on its watches altogether.
The Cupertino giant has long been stuck in legal issues with California-based health-tech company Masimo, which manufactures blood oxygen monitoring tech. Masimo claims that Apple approached the company for collaboration in 2013 and allegedly violated two patents.
It’s been years since the two companies have been going back and forth fighting a legal battle. In 2021, Masimo filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission and requested an import ban on specific Apple Watch models. Apple was hopeful that the Biden administration would come to its rescue and veto the import ban.
Biden couldn’t save Apple, though, and the Series 9 and Ultra 2 were taken off the shelves of Apple retail stores on December 21. They were still available at third-party retailers such as Target, Best Buy, and Apple’s shop. Just a few days later, on December 24, they were also taken down from the website.
Since the ban, Apple has been trying to come up with a way to circumvent it and proposed dropping the feature on the two Apple watches mentioned above. The US Customs Agency was then appointed to determine whether the solution was enough to avoid a ban. 9to5Mac recently posted an official letter from Masimo’s attorney and reported that the feature will finally be dropped. Masimo’s letter confirmed that they agreed on the proposed solution.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg reported that the new watches without the oximeter feature have been shipped to retailers in the US. Still, they’re not allowed to start selling them until they receive an official word from Apple’s corporate office.