Apple will now sell Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 without blood oxygen tracking

An Apple Watch Series 9 user edits the Snoopy watch face.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

TL;DR

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  • Apple is removing the blood oxygen monitoring feature from the Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 in the US.
  • The change only affects new models of the smartwatches sold starting January 18.
  • Those who already own an Apple Watch Series 9 or Watch Ultra 2 with blood oxygen monitoring will remain unaffected by the latest development.

Apple has been dealt a significant setback in its patent dispute against Masimo Corp. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied the company’s request for extending a pause on the Apple Watch import ban in the US. So to avoid completely halting the sales of its latest smartwatches, Apple has instead said it will sell the Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 without blood oxygen tracking in the US.

The rejigged Apple Watch models will go on sale starting Thursday, January 18. So if you’re someone who is planning to buy a new Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2 now, you’ll get a model without blood oxygen monitoring. Those who already have smartwatches with the feature enabled will remain unaffected by this latest development.

While the reworked watches will still include a blood oxygen monitoring sensor, the software for its functionality will be disabled. It’s unclear if Apple plans on enabling the feature in the future through a software push when it’s able to resolve the patent dispute. Apple’s appeal against the import ban on its watches in the US is still playing out and the company believes the process could last a year or more.

“Pending the appeal, Apple is taking steps to comply with the ruling while ensuring customers have access to Apple Watch with limited disruption,” the company said in a statement shared by Bloomberg. “Apple’s appeal is ongoing, and we believe the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit should reverse the USITC’s decision. We strongly disagree with the USITC decision and resulting orders,” Apple added.

Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 models sold outside the US will retain the blood oxygen monitoring feature.

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