Apple faces legal challenge over Watch heart-rate apps

ECG app for Apple Watch
ECG app for Apple Watch (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is being sued over Apple Watch apps in California.
  • A company called AliveCor claims Apple has created a monopoly over heart rate apps on Apple Watch.
  • AliveCor has previously sued Apple over patent infringement.

A California judge says Apple must face a lawsuit that claims it has illegally monopolized the market for heart-rate monitoring apps on Apple Watch.

From Reuters:

A federal judge on Monday said Apple Inc (AAPL.O) must face a Silicon Valley company's claims it illegally monopolized the U.S. market for heart rate monitoring apps for its Apple Watch.U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said AliveCor Inc, whose SmartRhythm app alerts users to irregular heartbeats, could try to prove that Apple violated federal antitrust law based on its alleged "complete control" over the market for such apps.

As summarized by the judge, AliveCor "alleges that Apple made changes to the heart rate algorithm that made it effectively impossible for third parties to inform a user when to take an ECG," judge White said the case had plausibly been established that Apple's actions were anti-competitive.

However, a suit that claimed Apple had an illegal monopoly over ECG-capable smartwatches was dismissed because AliveCor's KardiaBand wristband was a complementary, not a competing device.

Last year AliveCor sued Apple over claims that the ECG tech Apple uses in its Best Apple Watch models including the Apple Watch Series 7 infringed on patents the company held.

There's always Amazon

Bigger, brighter, slightly better

Bigger, brighter, slightly better

You can buy the Apple Watch from Amazon if you prefer. Just remember you may be limited to only certain band combinations and models on Amazon. Plus, it's possible they will have less stock than buying from Apple directly.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9