Apple Watch can still be sold in Europe, but recently no longer in the United States. This has everything to do with a patent that another company has on the use of a blood oxygen meter in a wearable. Apple has put its foot down for a while and has indeed stopped selling, but is now going to make an adjustment to its technology in order to restart sales.
Apple Watch sales ban
The Apple Watch Series 9 and the Watch Ultra 2 will soon no longer have blood oxygen meters. These are removed by the brand to ensure that sales of the devices continue. A small knee-jerk reaction from Apple, which usually does nothing for as long as possible when it is proven wrong, until it really has to. It also allowed that to happen with this: a judge had to be involved to ensure that sales stopped almost immediately, but now it appears that Apple still wants to continue selling and considers that more important than the blood oxygen meter that belongs in the watch .
US Customs and Border Protection has approved this measure, so the question now is how exactly Apple will solve it. Will the entire sensor be removed, or is it just a software adjustment that simply means people no longer have the option of blood oxygen measurement? After all, that would make quite a difference in the time it will take for Apple to be able to offer the smart watches again. In any case, prosecutor Masimo has said that if the redeveloped Watch does not include wrist oximetry, it is a positive step to take their responsibility. It is not very clear.
Hardware or software?
There is a rumor of it Bloomberg that there are already modified watches and they are already going to stores, which implies that it is actually a hardware adjustment. This is also supported by the fact that watches that were already sold with this function still work with that function. So you should be careful whether you get an update on your Apple Watch, because Apple may make a software adjustment that will allow Masimo to get his way. And ultimately so does Apple, by being able to sell the devices again.
Still, we wonder what implications this has for customers. If you buy an Apple Watch with such a meter on it and it suddenly stops working, we can imagine that customers will complain to Apple about this. Would there be a right to trade-in, could even bigger consumer problems follow now that Apple has to remove something from its tech? If a judge has imposed it, this obviously does not mean that consumers have to agree to a ‘broken promise’ from the company. But it will first have to be seen whether previously sold watches can continue to use the blood oxygen meter. Fingers crossed… Or well, as long as you’re not measuring of course.