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Investors Push Apple on Children’s iPhone Addiction

 2 min read / 

Two of Apple’s major investors have written an open letter calling on the tech giant to do more to tackle iPhone addiction amongst young people.

California State Teachers Retirement System (CSTRS) and Jana Partners, which between them own $2 billion worth of Apple (AAPL) stock have urged Apple to set an example “about the obligations of technology companies to their youngest customer”.

The letter says: “there is a clear need for Apple to offer parents more choices and tools to help them ensure that young consumers are using your products in an optimal manner.”

“Apple can play a defining role in signaling to the industry that paying special attention to the health and development of the next generation is both good business and the right thing to do.”

The letter refers to the mental health issues that are believed to stem from the excessive use of smartphones amongst children and teenagers. This includes shorter attention spans in class, insufficient sleep and being at a higher risk of depression and suicide.

“Addressing this issue now will enhance long-term value for all shareholders, creating more choices and options for your customers today and helping to protect the next generation of leaders, innovators, and customers tomorrow.”

Why This Matters

As more studies look into the short and long-term effects that technology and smartphones have on children’s mental development and wellbeing, tech giants have attempted to make their products more suitable for children.

Last year, Apple introduced a new version of their popular messenger service aimed for children between the ages of six and twelve.

As such, it might not be so unusual for two of Apple’s major investors to try and influence a change in how the tech-giant sells its products to younger consumers. Creating child-friendly software will convince concerned parents that their products are safe to use.

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