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Big Apple Shareholders Sent Apple a Letter Saturday urging them to take Steps to Address Growing iPhone Addiction

  1 2018 cover iPhone addiction

UPDATE 1/10/2018: Apple reacts to the news by stating that they already have new features and enhancements on the way.


It's being report today that Apple Inc shareholders Charles Penner and Jana Partners along with the California State Teachers' Retirement System are urging Apple to take serious steps to address what they say is a growing problem of young people getting addicted to Apple's iPhones.


The Reuters report noted that "Jana, a leading activist shareholder, and CalSTRS, one of the nation's largest public pension plans, delivered a letter to Apple on Saturday asking the company to consider developing software that would allow parents to limit children's phone use, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Sunday."


The Wall Street Journal report is titled "iPhones and Children Are a Toxic Pair, Say Two Big Apple Investors."


Reuters further noted that "Jana and CalSTRS also asked Apple to study the impact of excessive phone use on mental health, according to the publication. Jana and CalSTRS together control about $2 billion worth of Apple shares, the Journal reports.


However, the issue of phone addiction among young people has become a growing concern in the United States as parents report their children cannot give up their phones. CalSTRS and Jana worry that Apple's reputation and stock could be hurt if it does not address those concerns, according to the Journal.


Half of teenagers in the United States feel like they are addicted to their mobile phones. The phone addiction issue got a high-profile boost from the former Disney child star Selena Gomez, 24, who said she canceled a 2016 world tour to go to therapy for depression and low self-esteem, feelings she linked to her addiction to social media and the mobile photo-sharing app Instagram."


Companies do everything that they can to get consumers hooked on their products. This is a marketing no-brainer. This is the goal of every company in every country that believes in capitalism. To say otherwise would be foolish.


Android smartphones own 85% of the smartphone market and yet it's Apple's tiny 15% of the market that is constantly focused on by the media. This is an industry problem with teen addiction to technology, not Apple's alone.


At present, Apple currently has extensive Parental Controls for macOS here and a limited version of the Parental Controls for iOS here. I've never used them so I have no experience as to their effectiveness.


X macOS solution


Though to address the issue in the bigger picture, it's going to take the education system to demand no phones during class hours. Unfortunately I don't think that they have the political will to that just yet. It seems these days, the kids run the schools. 


Update: Even with the Parental Controls that Apple currently has, they issued a statement to the WSJ and iMore stating that they "have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust.

We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them. 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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