Apple Watch pulse oximeter ban detailed in published documents

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited March 13

New information about the Apple Watch ban, like how permanent the solution is and when it can be lifted, has been detailed in the now published Customs order.

An Apple Watch laying upside down with the health sensors showing. A blue band is attached.
Apple Watch Series 9 can't be sold with the blood pulse oximeter enabled



When an import ban against the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 began in January, little was known about the ban's scope or Apple's response. Apple did manage to work around the ban by disabling the blood pulse oximeter in software, but the permanence of the solution remained unknown.

A quiet update to the US Customs and Border Protection website provided the official order documentation that explained some of the specifics surrounding the ban and Apple's solution.

Since Apple disabled the blood pulse oximeter via software, it can be reactivated via an update at a later date. The Customs order details how Masimo argued Apple's solution wasn't good enough because they managed to reactivate the feature via a jailbroken iPhone.

Customs didn't accept that as a viable reason to stop the workaround since it requires the user altering the original system a great deal. However, Masimo's protests and jailbreaking proves that Apple can reverse the software change.

It also revealed that the blood pulse oximeter is disabled via a "designation" in the software. Apple can remove that designation, and everything works as it did before.

Apple won't be able to remove the designation until it is victorious with an appeal or until the violated patents expire in August 2028. Appeals are in progress, but given the US justice system's track record, it could be some time before any resolution is met.

The documents were first discovered by ip fray.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,368member
    This sounds like a great betting pool opportunity.

    Who will wager that the patent will expire before the court cases are resolved one way or another? Who thinks Masimo will ultimately enjoy an extremely short-lived victory?

    Roll up roll up, pays yer money and makes yer bets!
    Anilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 787member
    I was wanting a replacement for my Series 5 with a battery that was starting to get a bit tired decide to pick up a Series 9 last month during a significant price drop. I knew about the loss of the blood oxygen feature, but figured I wouldn't miss it since I never had it. I was pleasantly surprised that the Series 9 I bought from Best Buy still had the feature and now that I've had it for several weeks, I'm glad I have it. Hopefully, Apple will be able to offer the feature again in a few years when I get ready for another Apple Watch.
    Anilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Anilu_777Anilu_777 Posts: 552member
    I may be upgrading my Series 6 this year but as I’m in Canada I expect it to still be there as Masimo doesn’t have the patent registered here afaik
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,365member
    Anilu_777 said:
    I may be upgrading my Series 6 this year but as I’m in Canada I expect it to still be there as Masimo doesn’t have the patent registered here afaik
    What happens if you wear the watch and cross the border?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    mattinoz said:
    Anilu_777 said:
    I may be upgrading my Series 6 this year but as I’m in Canada I expect it to still be there as Masimo doesn’t have the patent registered here afaik
    What happens if you wear the watch and cross the border?
    I would expect no difference as the ban only exists on new watches being sold in the US.

    Unfortunately I doubt you’d be able to buy a Canadian watch and take it into America if you’re an American as that would be considered importing I guess.

    That being said, if you’re wearing it up your sleeve would anyone notice?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 6
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,036member
    mattinoz said:
    Anilu_777 said:
    I may be upgrading my Series 6 this year but as I’m in Canada I expect it to still be there as Masimo doesn’t have the patent registered here afaik
    What happens if you wear the watch and cross the border?
    I would expect no difference as the ban only exists on new watches being sold in the US.

    Unfortunately I doubt you’d be able to buy a Canadian watch and take it into America if you’re an American as that would be considered importing I guess.

    That being said, if you’re wearing it up your sleeve would anyone notice?
    You certainly can buy an Apple Watch outside the US and bring it in.  Generally, you can bring in $800 worth of purchases without paying any duty.  
    Obviously there are some rules that make it a little. more complicated than that.  $800 is the general rule. 

    A little more info nobody asked for:

    Many countries that charge VAT (and it can be 20%+) will refund it for purchases taken outside the country.  Often higher-end shops will have the forms you need.
    Apple will honor the warranty for purchases made outside the US so you need not worry about that.  Similarly, if you need your US-bought Apple product fixed outside the US you can take it to an Apple store overseas.
    edited March 15 watto_cobra
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