Apple Facing Huge Pressure From Major Investors To Address Youth Smartphone Addiction


An Apple Store staff shows Apple's new iPhones X after they go on sale at the Apple Store in Regents Street, London, Britain, November 3, 2017.

Apple on Monday said that since 2008 the iPhone's software has allowed parents to control which apps, movies, games and other content children can access.

"As a company that prides itself on values like inclusiveness, quality education, environmental protection, and supplier responsibility, Apple would also once again be showcasing the innovative spirit that made you the most valuable public company in the world", the letter reads.

Among their proposals to Apple: Establish a committee of experts, including child development specialists; offer Apple's "vast information resources" to researchers; and enhance mobile device software so that parents have more options to protect their children's health.

The investors control Dollars 2 billion worth of Apple shares, have appealed to the multinational technology giant to take action in order to offer more tools and choices for families to protect their children from the harm can be caused due to smartphones.

With many apps, sites and devices being created to be as addictive as possible to grow user numbers and maintain eyeballs on screens, children are increasingly being either seen as collateral damage or specifically targeted as the next generation of users. Half of all USA teens surveyed in 2016 thought they were addicted to their mobile phones and said they felt pressure to immediately reply to phone messages, according to CNN.

In developing a solution, the letter suggests parents should be involved in helping their children spend a developmentally optimal amount of time using such devices.

Citing multiple studies that suggest a balanced approach when it comes to young people's smartphone use, the letter states excessive use can have severely harmful effects. It also recommended installing an advisory board who could monitor the issue.

"We have new features and enhancements planned for the future, to add functionality and make these tools even more robust", the Apple spokeswoman added. More than half of Americans said admit they have used their smartphone while driving, according to a 2013 Mobile Consumer Habits study.