Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will no longer come with blood oxygen feature

Apple will sell new versions of the smartwatches to sidestep ban
Apple apple blood oxygen feature banned
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New models of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be sold without access to the blood oxygen feature, following the latest twist in Apple's ongoing patent dispute with health company Masimo. 

Earlier this week, Apple filed an appeal in the hopes of winning a continued stay on the import ban it received from the International Trade Commission (ITC) back in October (and enforced in December).

However, after losing its appeal on Wednesday, 17 January, the ban on sales of its latest smartwatches - which was also temporarily lifted earlier this month and saw sales resume - has once again come into force.

To sidestep it, Apple will sell its two newest smartwatches without access to blood oxygen features. This doesn't affect versions of the watches already sold, nor does it affect previous Apple Watch models with the health feature.

The blood oxygen app will still show on the new models being sold, with Apple providing a software fix that ensures the feature won't be accessible. 

These tweaked devices will be available from Apple stores and its website from today - Thursday, 18 January - at 9am ET/6am PT. We should also say that it's only new watch sales in the US that are affected by this latest change.

In a statement, Apple said: "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 situation rumbles on for now, then. Stay tuned as we keep track of all the latest developments. 

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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