Apple CEO Tim Cook clarified that the company has no intention to license healthcare company Masimo’s blood oxygen detection which would have ended the Apple Watch import ban. Cook told CNBC that the brand is focused on appeals. He added that there are several other reasons to buy the watch even without the blood oxygen sensor. In the US, Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 are still on sale but, the blood oxygen sensor in them has been disabled via software.
Apple watch models that were sold before January 18, 2024, the day when the ban was imposed, will still have functional blood oxygen detection.
According to a report from Apple Insider, the company might add the blood oxygen detection function back via a software update in case the import ban ends. Meanwhile, Masimo has said that the brand is willing to settle with Apple.
The sales of Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 were resumed last month without blood oxygen features amid the patent infringement dispute.
A company spokesperson said, “Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 without the Blood Oxygen feature will become available from apple.com starting 6 am PT on January 18, and from Apple Stores starting January 18. 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.”
The company said, “Pending the appeal, Apple is taking steps to comply with the ruling while ensuring customers have access to Apple Watch with limited disruption.”
The ban was imposed on the sales in US after the ITC ruled that the blood oxygen sensors violated patents belonging to Masimo.