Apple Watch and Masimo: They collide again

The world of technology and health is at a point of friction. Recently, Joe Kiani, CEO of Masimo, has made strong statements about the pulse oximetry functionality of the Apple Watch, arguing that users would be better off without this feature. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Kiani openly criticized Apple for presenting its technology as a reliable alternative to traditional medical oximeters.

Differences in monitoring:

According to Kiani, Apple’s offer is far from being a reliable substitute. While Masimo devices offer continuous monitoring, especially useful during sleep to detect problems such as apnea or dangerous opioid desaturations, the Apple Watch only performs two automatic measurements per day. Kiani emphasizes that continuous monitoring is where the true value of the pulse oximeter lies.

In the case of Apple against Masimo, it is evident how intellectual property becomes a crucial battleground in the technology industry, affecting giants and startups alike.

The new Freedom Watch:

Within the framework of this controversy, Kiani took the opportunity to present the next Masimo Freedom Watch, a device with integrated health tracking sensors that, according to him, could divert the market’s attention from the Apple Watch, especially among those who value the precision of the pulse oximetry.

Legal context and disputes:

Tensions between Masimo and Apple are not new. Beyond the criticism, there is an undercurrent of legal disputes and mutual accusations. Masimo has accused Apple of hiring more than 20 of its engineers, in some cases doubling their salaries, to develop similar technologies for the Apple Watch. Additionally, Kiani points out that certain legal complications, such as the ITC import ban, could have been avoided if Apple had chosen to manufacture its devices in the United States, as Masimo does.

Legal processes in progress:

In the legal environment, tensions remain high. Apple faces an appeal process over the patent at stake, and is working on a software update, whose completion times are still uncertain. Masimo, for its part, is seeking a licensing deal that could amount to as much as $3 for each Apple Watch sold, while Apple has counterattacked with a lawsuit alleging that Masimo’s W1 watch infringes on several of its design patents.

Apple Watch sales affected:

In the midst of this battle, the Apple Watch continues its sale in the Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 models, although with the pulse oximetry functionality disabled. The sale of previous stock by third parties is allowed until stock lasts.

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