Apple Potentially Devaluing Apple Watch by Removing Key Feature
Shub & Johns LLC launches investigation into Apple after a recent decision to remove a key health feature from newer model Apple Watches may leave consumers concerned how this may affect the Apple Watch they already paid for.
Apple Watch Ban
In October 2023, The US International Trade Commission ruled that Apple had violated Masimo’s, a health technology company, patent on its pulse oximeter technology, a blood oxygen measurement feature in some Apple Watch products. This decision – finalized on December 26, 2023 – initiated a ban on Apple Watches featuring pulse oximeter technology from being imported to the US and led Apple to remove Apple Watch devices utilizing this feature from its stores.
The ban on Apple Watch sales and importations was blocked on December 27, 2023 and for the time being Apple continues to sell Apple Watches with the pulse oximeter function. Apple Watch Series 6 and later models, along with all models of the Apple Watch Ultra will be affected if the ban on Apple Watch importations is reinstated.
Soon after the court ruling, Apple began redesigning its newer Apple Watch Products so that Watches no longer contain a pulse oximeter function. The changes proposed by Apple were recently approved, meaning soon Apple will begin selling Apple Watches without this oximeter function. What does this mean, however, for consumers who already have Apple Watches with this feature?
Removal of Pulse Oximeter Function
Apple Watches are no cheap product. They contain multiple functions outside of telling time. One major function of Apple Watches is to monitor users’ health. Apple Watch wearers are able to keep track of their activity, monitor sleep, and – using the pulse oximeter feature – they can be alerted to issues or concerns with their blood oxygen measurements. Apple Watches are marketed as a product that can monitor a customer’s health, but with this feature removed, what might the consumer be paying for?
It is not yet clear what Apple aims to do with sold Apple Watches that contain the pulse oximeter feature. With the ban on a temporary hold, these devices may no longer be sold with the feature, or may receive a software update that eliminates this feature’s functionality. If this feature is removed from Apple Watches, it could mean that Apple is taking away features that you may explicitly have paid for.
Do you own an Apple Watch Series 6, Ultra, or later? Concerned by what Apple may do with your Apple Watch functionality? Let us know! Fill out the attached form to stay up to date with the Shub & Johns investigation.