The Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 will now be sold without their blood oxygen feature. Apple says the move will allow it to sell its high-end watches while staying in compliance amid an ongoing patent dispute with health tech company Masimo.
Apple said Wednesday that Series 9 and Ultra 2 models that don’t contain the feature will be available on both its website and in US retail stores on Thursday. Customers who buy these versions will still see references to a blood oxygen feature when using the watch, but when they tap it they’ll see a message that the feature is no longer available.
Read more: Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 Ban: What You Need to Know
Apple Watch owners who already have a model with a blood oxygen feature are not affected, and internationally Apple is still able to sell watches with the feature.
Apple’s announcement comes after a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the company can’t continue to sell watches with a blood oxygen sensor while the feature remains under a patent dispute with health tech company Masimo. In January 2023, a US judge ruled that Apple’s blood oxygen sensing system infringes on Masimo’s patents, leading the US International Trade Commission to issue an order in October that prohibits importing the watch.
“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 said in a statement issued late Wednesday.
The changes to the Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 have no effect on the Apple Watch SE, which doesn’t include a blood oxygen feature.
First published Jan. 18, 2024, 8:30 a.m. PT.