Two key Apple shareholders have requested the Cupertino-based iPhone maker to take urgent steps to safeguard young users from the ill-effects of iPhone addiction. In a letter, Apple shareholders Jana Partners and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, who according to a Wall Street Journal report together control about $2 billion worth of Apple shares, told the company to make its products safer for the younger users in the US.
“We have reviewed the evidence and we believe 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,” the letter read. Citing latest research into depression linked to smartphone use among students, the letter urged Apple to invest in further research towards handling this issue.
Enhancing mobile device software so that parents (if they wish) can implement changes so that their child or teenager is not being handed the same phone as a 40-year old, is one of the suggestion. The letter proposes modifying initial setup on an iPhone to let parents set an age and appropriate limits on screen time and social media that their kids can access.
Likewise, parents could be given options to monitor how an iPhone is used. “Explaining to parents why Apple is offering additional choices and the research that went into them, to help parents make more informed decisions” is another suggestion made to the company. Apple can also hire or assign a high-level executive to monitor this and “issue annual progress reports just as Apple does for environmental and supply chain issues”.