U.S. judge rules Apple must face claims it bars third-party Apple Watch heart rate apps

A U.S. federal judge on Monday said Apple must face a Silicon Valley company’s claims it illegally monopolized the American market for heart rate monitoring apps for its Apple Watch.

Apple Watch heart rate


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.

White also dismissed AliveCor’s separate claim that Apple maintained an illegal monopoly over ECG-capable smart watches.

In its May 2021 lawsuit, privately held AliveCor accused Apple of changing the heart rate algorithm for the Apple Watch to gain an “unfair competitive edge” over rivals, and “put countless AliveCor users’ lives in danger.”

MacDailyNews Take: Hell hath no fury like the Sherlocked scorned.

The fact is that AliveCor sells a bunch of finger-pad devices that cost more, are less convenient, and more likely to get lost versus an Apple Watch that’s strapped to your wrist. AliveCor is losing because their ECG solutions are less elegant, larger, bulkier than simply wearing an Apple Watch Series 4 (released in September 2018) or later with ECG.

There a reason why founding CEO, and former Google exec, Vic Gundotra left AliveCor in February 2018: The company has no real future as currently constructed.

Can’t compete? Litigate.MacDailyNews, May 27, 2021

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  1. Hold on, Apple don’t make software for AliveCor products? why would AliveCor feel they have the right to use another companies hardware to run their software?. Both sell products doing health monitoring and if they can’t sell their products that doesn’t mean AliveCor have a given right to enforce their will on other companies Intellectual property designs and ideas. if people want to use AliveCor products they can purchase them and if AliveCor can’t make a decent product that’s their issue not other companies in the same space AliveCor wish to be viable in.

    1. Because the owner of the Watch owns the hardware, not Apple.
      Not only that, Apple has rightfully enriched itself by having the device available to 3rd party Apps. Apps which it also does not own.

      1. Not a smart comment. You mean because you like or GM wants, GM engines and like the Mustang is very popular, that Ford has to design its car so that a GM engine will fit. Not!

        1. Not a smart comment. GM can design and sell whatever it desires within the law. As soon as I hold the keys, GM has no legal rights to stop me from tinkering with software and hardware. I would make many customizations but downgrade to Ford hardware aint gonna happen.

          Apple thinks it has the right to control my property by digital leashes and locks, but they are wrong. The right to repair day of reckoning is coming, even if US Congress is pathetically slow.

        2. If there are patents Ford owns and makes the engines not fit, then yes Ford can block GM from making an engine that fits.

          Meanwhile, both make “street legal” cars and if Ford puts in a jammer that prevents my personal GPS from working… they have a problem.

  2. This is a tricky case. On one hand, I am for open platforms, so a user should be able to run other apps on a device. On the other hand, if it is considered a medical device, the FDA frowns on having open platforms because another app might not work or would interfere with the medical function. How do you test all possible apps and configurations to ensure they are compatible?

    1. Apple’s not going to get FDA approval with the Watch. Apple is simply going to charge medical grade prices for a styled healthy looking wrist accessory, regardless of how accurate it is.

      Apple deserves to lose its iOS moat. The special security and customer protections Apple claims can only be possible with their monopoly store are illusory. The Mac platform proves security doesn’t necessitate an Apple app store surcharge.

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