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Apple called upon to act on potential smartphone addiction

Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System control around US$2bn of shares
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The shareholders want Apple to change its operating systems

Smartphone giant Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) was back in the frame on Monday as two of its major investors called on the group to assess the mental health implications of its iPhones on children and young people.

Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System control around US$2bn of shares in the tech titan between them.

In an open letter at the weekend, they called on the firm, led by Tim Cook, to respond to the notion that the smartphones were addictive and could pose a public health crisis in the future.

They want Apple to change its operating systems to allow parents greater control to limit time spent on devices, along with more research into the effect the tech has.

"It would defy common sense to argue that this level of usage, by children whose brains are still developing, is not having at least some impact, or that the maker of such a powerful product has no role to play in helping parents to ensure it is being used optimally."

Reportedly, American teenagers on average receive their first phone at age 10 and spend more than 4 1/2 hours a day using it, not including calls and texts..

"Apple can play a defining role in signalling 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 said.

Apple shares eased 0.06% to US$174,89.



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