Apple Expected to Remove a Health Feature From New Apple Watches

Apple is expected to begin selling its flagship smartwatches without the capability to detect people’s pulse rate.

The tech giant is likely to drop the feature after losing a patent case over its blood-oxygen measurement technology two months ago. The court ordered Apple to stop selling its Apple Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 devices. Rather than discontinue sales, the company sought permission to continue selling the devices after removing the infringing technology.

Though Apple has not yet detailed what it plans to do, the change should not affect smartwatches that are in use. People with Apple watches capable of detecting their pulse will continue to be able to use that feature, analysts said. The Watch Series 9 and Watch Ultra 2 would continue to offer an array of other features, including the ability to track runs, set timers, and detect falls and irregular heart beats.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

The International Trade Commission in October found that several Apple Watches had infringed on patents held by Masimo, a medical technology company in Irvine, Calif., that helped pioneer some pulse oximeter technology. It issued a ban on the import of Apple’s watches, which are made in Asia.