Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Apple resorts to drastic measure to keep Apple Watch on sale

Apple has been forced to modify its latest Apple Watch smartwatches in order to avoid a sales ban in the United States.

The company is removing the blood oxygen app from the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2, sacrificing one of its key health tracking features to keep the flagship wearables on sale.

Save £50 with this Apple Watch 9 deal

Save £50 with this Apple Watch 9 deal

Searching for the latest Apple Watch? Look for further. The Apple Watch 9 is now just £379 at John Lewis and save £50 compared to its usual £429 RRP.

  • John Lewis
  • Was £429
  • £379
View Deal

Although the feature loss is a major blow, it allows Apple to get around an import ban from the US International Trade Commission pertaining to a patent dispute with the medical device manufacturer Masimo.

The US customs and border agency introduced the ban, but according to Masimo itself (via Bloomberg), the agency has “decided that Apple’s redesign falls outside the scope” of the ban.

Masimo had claimed any software changes would not get be able to get around the ban, but removing the feature completely is a drastic measure that shows the level of strife Apple faced on this issue.

Fortunately for the company, the update only applies to watches sold in the United States, but this could still end up costing the company a significant amount of cash.

The blood oxygen feature for the Apple Watch Ultra Series 2 is likely to be a major part of the purchasing decision for some serious fitness and endurance sports enthusiasts. The watch starts at $799, and there are powerful watches available for much less that can measure blood oxygen.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words