Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2: Navigating Legal Storms and Feature Cutbacks

Apple's latest Watches are thought to be on the brink of losing a common wearable feature over its maker's ongoing legal battle with another company. The 2023 devices might have their blood oxygen (SpO2) measurement feature disabled in response to a court order that affects the smartwatches' availability in the United States.

Masimo's victory in US court over Apple has led the Cupertino giant to consider a drastic workaround to the implications that it may have its newest Watches effectively banned from sale in the United States on a more permanent basis.

According to a new Bloomberg report, this latest strategy is to negate the SpO2 sensing technology at the heart of the dispute by disabling it in the Series 9 and Ultra 2 soon. Brand new units of the wearables might even have their hardware altered in order to comply with this initiative.

Blood oxygen sensing or tracking features have been around for some time, and might thus be seen as an almost baseline spec in a new smartwatch (or ring, even). Nevertheless, Apple's new alleged plan might seem preferable to having its latest wearables removed from its native market altogether.

Then again, it is also reportedly a contingency in the event its upcoming appeal against the verdict in favor of Masimo should fail.

Reactions and Assessments

The potential loss of the blood oxygen (SpO2) measurement feature in the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 due to a legal dispute raises significant concerns among consumers and tech enthusiasts alike. This feature has become a standard in modern smartwatches, contributing to health and fitness tracking.

Apple's consideration of disabling the SpO2 sensor as a workaround to comply with the court order shows the company's willingness to navigate legal challenges. However, this decision comes with potential drawbacks, as it might impact the functionality and appeal of the latest Watches.

The reported hardware alteration for compliance purposes adds a layer of complexity to the situation. Users purchasing brand new units may face uncertainties regarding the device's original specifications and capabilities.

The Bloomberg report suggests that Apple views this strategy as a way to prevent a complete ban of its newest Watches in the US market. This reflects the company's determination to maintain a presence in a crucial market despite legal setbacks.

The existence of a contingency plan in case of an unsuccessful appeal indicates Apple's awareness of the potential challenges in overturning the court's decision. It highlights the complexity of patent disputes within the technology industry and the lengths companies may go to ensure product availability.

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