Bitten Apple? Tech Giant Grapples with Patent Infringement as Court Squelches Smartwatch Sales

Apple Watch Ban Resumes: Wrist Wearer Woes and Software Wars

Apple Loses Bid to Pause Ban:

A federal court has denied Apple’s request to delay a looming U.S. ban on sales of its popular smartwatches.

This means retailers will once again be prohibited from selling models featuring the blood oxygen function, including the latest Series 9 and Ultra 2.

At the Heart of the Matter:

The ban stems from a patent infringement lawsuit filed by medical technology company Masimo, alleging that Apple stole their blood oxygen sensing technology.

This resulted in a previous ban that was briefly lifted while Apple proposed a redesign.

Redesign on the Horizon:

However, the judge ruled that Apple’s proposed alterations, potentially involving software updates, weren’t enough to justify a delay.

This opens the door for two main possible outcomes:

Blood Oxygen Blackout:

Analysts predict Apple will likely disable the disputed feature on affected models rather than stop selling them altogether.

This means Series 9 and Ultra 2 users will lose access to blood oxygen readings.

Hardware Revamp:

Meanwhile, reports suggest Apple is also working on a hardware redesign to completely avoid infringing on Masimo’s patents.

This, however, could take at least three months to implement, leading to potential production and shipping delays.

Financial Fallout:

While Apple hasn’t disclosed specific Watch sales figures, analysts estimate the ban could cost the company $200 million or more in lost revenue.

This impact is likely to grow as the ban continues and potential hardware changes take time.

Settlement on the Horizon?:

Despite the legal battle, Masimo expressed openness to seeking a solution through “honest, good-faith discussions” with Apple.

Whether this leads to a software workaround, hardware adjustments, or a licensing agreement remains to be seen.

Wearable Woes for Watchful Wrists:

The Apple Watch ban saga continues to unfold, leaving users, retailers, and investors waiting anxiously for its next chapter.

As both sides fight for their technological turf, the future of blood oxygen monitoring on Apple’s wearable remains uncertain.

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