Jana and CalSTRS together control about $2 billion worth of Apple shares
Two large shareholders have urged Apple to study whether iPhones are proving addictive for children and if intensive use of the smart phones may be bad for their mental health.
According to wall street journal Jana, a leading activist shareholder, and CalSTRS, one of the nation’s largest public pension plans, delivered a letter to Apple on asking the company to consider developing software that would allow parents to limit children’s phone use.
In a letter to the smart phone maker they warned that the growing societal unease over the intensive use of smart phones by children at some point is likely to impact even Apple.
The two shareholders who own about $2 billion in Apple shares, urged the company to develop additional means for parents to restrict the use of mobile phones by their children.
They further said we encourage Apple to offer parents more tools by enhancing mobile device software to enable age-appropriate setup options including limiting screen time, setting up parental monitoring, etc
Apple has not commented on the letter, but it provides parental controls on iPhones that allow restricting access to certain apps and content.
The investors cited a recent study by the Center on Media and Child Health and the University of Alberta, according to which teachers observed that students are negatively distracted by digital technologies in the classroom.
The social rights issue is a new turn for Jana, which is known for pushing companies it invests in to make financial changes.
Earlier France, for instance, has moved to ban the use of smart phones in its primary and middle schools.
The letter represents a new source of pressure on Apple, after being forced to apologize last month for slowing down the performance of older iPhone models.