Apple Investors Warn iPhones and Other Technology May Be Hurting Children

Shareholders sent an open letter to Apple over concerns for its younger customers

Shareholders sent an open letter to Apple over concerns for its younger customers Credit Getty

Apple Inc. said it plans new features to help parents control how children use its smartphones, responding to criticism from two shareholders about the entrancing qualities and potential mental health impact of the company's iPhone.

The letter's authors, Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System (Calstrs), control about $2 billion of Apple's shares-a relatively small amount considering Apple's $900 billion market value, but clearly enough to grab the company's attention.

Research showing eighth graders who are heavy users of social media have a 27 percent higher risk of depression, while those who exceed the average time spent playing sports, hanging out with friends, or doing homework have a much lower risk.

"We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust", the Apple representative added. "In an interview previous year to celebrate Apple for (the) positive contribution it has made to the world, (Fortune) challenged Tim Cook to say what Apple was doing about the "bad social behavior" iPhones and iPads provoked, including 'children who stare for too long into a screen.' Cook changed the subject, talking instead about Apple's anti-distracted driving initiative and how the Apple Watch has a feature that reminds you to breathe".

While some have questioned whether phones and tablets are any more alluring than television or video games were to kids in the earliest days of those technologies, Morrison argues portability is the distinctive factor.

IPhones (and other devices) are making it hard for students to stay focused at school, according to research touted in the letter.

According to a Reuters report, half of United States teenagers believe they are addicted to their mobile phones and feel the need to respond immediately to messages.

"The thing with an iPhone or an iPad is it goes everywhere with us". Last week, Apple said that all of its Mac computers and iOS devices, which include iPhones and iPads, faced security vulnerabilities due to flawed chips made by Intel Corp.

To spread awareness of the issue, CalSTRS and Jana created a website, . We lead the industry by offering intuitive parental controls built right into the operating system. It also added that it's also making sure that the App Store and other digital content areas are clear of offensive material including pornography, while labels should help the user identify age-appropriate content.

Any major improvement to the parental controls in iOS is unlikely to debut until at least June, when Apple holds its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and it could come later given the company's standard development cycles for new features. Of course, we are constantly looking for ways to make our experiences better.

We guess they don't think social media apps should get some of the blame for that cause this isn't all on Apple to figure out honestly. "We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids".

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