The Next Apple Watch May Reportedly Be Missing Out On a Headline Health Feature

The next Apple Watch may reportedly be missing out on a headline health feature. It just could be really bad news for the already rumored Apple Watch X with recent developments.

The Next Apple Watch Headline Health Feature

The Next Apple Watch Headline Health Feature

Apple’s ongoing public dispute with health device manufacturer Masimo has raised concerns about the potential ban of the Apple Watch, one of the leading smartwatches globally, in the United States. As a consequence, Apple had to disable blood oxygen monitoring features on its devices, and this development may impact other planned features, notably sleep apnea tracking.

Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, in his Power On newsletter, highlights the jeopardy faced by the sleep apnea tracking feature, rumored to debut in the upcoming Apple Watch later this year. The conflict with Masimo revolves around patents held by Masimo related to blood oxygen monitoring. Apple was recently found to be infringing on these patents, leading to the implementation of a software fix disabling the blood oxygen monitoring feature on new Apple Watches.

The Importance of Blood Oxygen Monitoring For Sleep Apnea Tracking

Gurman emphasizes the importance of blood oxygen monitoring for sleep apnea tracking. If Apple is prohibited from incorporating any blood oxygen features in its wearables due to the dispute, it could have a cascading effect on the implementation of sleep apnea tracking and potentially other upcoming features that rely on checking blood oxygen levels.

The resolution of the patent dispute is crucial for Apple to proceed with its planned features. However, with Apple appealing the ruling, the process is expected to be lengthy, possibly taking at least a year. This timeline poses a significant challenge for the next Apple Watch, slated for release this year, which might have to go without the flagship sleep apnea feature.

The Timing of This Development Is Unfortunate for Apple

The timing is unfortunate for Apple, as the 2024 Apple Watch is anticipated to be the company’s tenth-anniversary model, rumored to be branded as the Apple Watch X. Speculations suggest it could come with special features to commemorate the occasion. However, due to the patent dispute, at least one major addition, the sleep apnea tracking feature, might be absent.

Apple Could Find an Alternative Solution

While there is a possibility that Apple could find an alternative solution, time constraints in testing, design, and manufacturing processes make it challenging. For users anticipating sleep apnea tracking in the next Apple Watch, optimism hinges on a positive resolution to the patent dispute in the coming months.



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