Apple Ditches Blood Oxygen Feature Amid Masimo Legal Clash

Remember that fancy Apple Watch that boasted about your blood oxygen levels like a proud Olympic athlete? Well, buckle up, because that feature is about to become an ex-boyfriend – dumped and forgotten, at least in the U.S. Why? A messy legal brawl with a medical tech company called Masimo, that’s why.

Here’s the lowdown: Masimo accused Apple of pinching their blood oxygen monitoring tech back in 2013, like borrowing a secret recipe and then opening a competing restaurant. They filed a complaint, and the International Trade Commission (think of them as the referees in this tech playground) agreed. Bam! Import ban slapped on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 like a red card.

Apple, not wanting to see its shiny new watches gathering dust in warehouses, went into full-on damage control. They hoped President Biden might step in and overturn the ban, but alas, no presidential pardon this time. The watches got pulled from shelves faster than you can say “low blood oxygen.”

So, what’s a tech giant to do? Apple took a drastic step: they said, “Fine, you want blood oxygen? We’ll give you none!” They redesigned the watches without the feature, hoping it’d be enough to appease the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (like the bouncers at the tech party) and lift the ban.

Now, you might be wondering what this means for you:

If you are a Current Watch owner, then Relax, your existing watches with the blood oxygen feature should still be singing and dancing (metaphorically speaking, of course).

If you were eyeing a new Watch and that blood oxygen thing was a dealbreaker, hold your horses. These watches are currently in timeout, waiting for the bouncers to give them the thumbs-up.

This whole saga is a wild ride that shows even tech giants like Apple aren’t immune to legal hiccups. It also reminds us that new features can sometimes be as fleeting as a summer romance, especially when lawsuits come knocking.

So, what’s next? Apple might try to resurrect the blood oxygen feature with a software update that somehow dodges Masimo’s patents. But for now, it’s a feature on life support, at least in the U.S. So, next time you see someone with a new Apple Watch, ask them if it can still tell them how much oxygen they’re chugging. You might just get a shrug and a wistful sigh about the good old days of blood oxygen bragging rights. Team

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