Masimo Freedom Watch Challenges Apple Dominance in Smartwatch Market
Masimo, a medical technology company, has announced its new smartwatch called Freedom. This watch can check blood oxygen levels and other health metrics.
Masimo had earlier sued Apple, claiming Apple copied their technology in Apple Watches. After this lawsuit, Apple removed the blood oxygen feature from their latest Series 9 and Ultra 2 models in the US.
The Freedom Watch was shown at CES 2024. It has a round screen, a touch bar for navigation, and a button for selecting items. It does not have features like Apple’s Digital Crown or a rotating bezel.
Eugene Goldberg from Masimo said their watch is very accurate in monitoring health. It can measure blood oxygen, hydration, breathing, pulse rate, and steps. It also has features for detecting falls and tracking sleep and activities.
Apple tried to stop the launch of Masimo’s Freedom watch. They are also trying to stop an import ban on their own watches. Apple argues that Masimo’s watch is directly competing with theirs.
Apple filed lawsuits against Masimo for patent infringement, which Masimo denied. They also accused Apple of antitrust violations and false advertising.
Joe Kiani, Masimo’s CEO, criticized Apple for claiming that Masimo copied their technology. He said Masimo’s products are better and they would never copy Apple’s products. Kiani stated that Apple used its people, property, and patents to make a poor product.
The Freedom Watch is priced at $999, more expensive than Apple’s most costly watch, the Ultra 2, priced at $799. It is expected to be available in the first half of 2024.
Apple has decided not to license Masimo’s technology despite a ban on importing some Apple Watches. This ban started on January 18, 2024. Apple Watches sold before the ban still have the blood oxygen feature. Apple CEO Tim Cook said they are focusing on appealing the decision.
Apple Watches currently sold in the US don’t have the blood oxygen feature. Apple resumed selling these models last month.
Apple is appealing the decision and believes the US Court of Appeals should reverse the ban. They are trying to follow the ruling while making their watches available to customers.