Apple removes watch app following patent ban

Apple has been forced to remove a blood oxygen feature from its newest Apple Watches following an import ban into the US.

Apple has removed the medical feature from the latest versions of its smart watch. Picture: Pixabay

The Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 went on sale Thursday without the disputed the feature, which is the subject of an ongoing patent infringement case.

US International Trade Commission banned the sale of the watches in December after medical device maker Masimo accused Apple of infringing patents for its pulse oximetry tech.

Apple is currently fighting the ban in court but in the meantime US Customs have approved the sale of versions of the Apple Watches with the blood oxygen features removed.

Apple spokesperson Nikki Rothberg said: “Pending the appeal, Apple is taking steps to comply with the ruling while ensuring customers have access to Apple Watch with limited disruption. These steps include introducing a version of Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 in the United States without the Blood Oxygen feature.”

Rothberg said there would be no impact to Apple Watches owners who already bought the device containing the disputed blood oxygen feature.

She said that the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 without the feature will be available for purchase on Apple’s website “starting 6am PT on January 18, and from Apple Stores starting January 18.”