Apple engineers race to rescue the Apple watches in the face of ban

Apple engineers race to rescue the Apple watches in the face of ban
Apple Watch (Image Source: Apple)
Apple Watch (Image Source: Apple)

Apple engineers are now reportedly working on an algorithm to change the way the oxygen blood sensor works. This comes after the impending ban on the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 due to a patent dispute.

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple is now working on software fixes to avoid pausing sales in the US. Apple engineers are looking to change the way oxygen saturation is recorded and also how the data is delivered to the users. With these updates, the watches might no longer violate the Masimo patents.

In the same report, Masimo told Bloomberg that a software change will not be sufficient and the hardware will need to be changed. However, Apple claims that a software solution will be sufficient. In any case, the sale of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will be halted for a while.

The International Trade Commission had ruled that Apple had violated Masimo’s patents related to the blood oxygen sensor technology in October. After this, the case was sent to the White House for a 60-day Presidential review. This 60-day period comes to an end on December 25th, and as the Biden administration has not acted on it, Apple is taking steps to adhere to ITC’s ruling.

At the moment, the sale of the Apple watches in question will be suspended on Apple’s website on December 21st, while the in-store items will be pulled off the shelves starting December 24th. Third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy can sell the watches until the stock lasts. The ban will only affect the watches that have a blood oxygen sensor. Other watches, like the Apple Watch SE (curr. US$279 on Amazon) will be available for purchase as usual.

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