Apple says it has 'always looked out for kids' after criticism

Apple says it has 'always looked out for kids' after criticism

Two big shareholders of Apple stock - a hedge fund and the California State Teachers' Retirement System - hope to use their weight to convince Apple it can be a solution to this big problem of smartphone addiction.

The letter said that Apple should take notice of their devices leading to growing public health crisis of smartphone addiction in young people. The company recently published its 10th annual Environmental Responsibility Report, a project it started to move toward renewable energy and efficiency in its huge manufacturing processes, to "conserve precious resources so we all can thrive" and to "pioneer the use of safer materials in our products and processes", according to this latest report.

Give parents more ways to restrict children's access to their smartphones. "We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids".

"Apple has always looked out for kids, and we work hard to create powerful products that inspire, entertain, and educate children while also helping parents protect them online", Apple said.

The investor letter cited studies that found an increased risk of depression and suicide, sleep deprivation and a lack of ability to focus in the classroom because of electronic devices. Therefore, the two groups requested the company conduct research themselves the effects of heavy use on youth mental health.

But that and similarly designed research can not rule out that already troubled teens may be more likely than others to be frequent users of smartphones and social media. And Apple, certainly one of the leaders in smartphone technology - and marketing - has shown it's open to new ideas. Facebook has said social media can be beneficial if used appropriately.

Even tech insiders have joined the criticism of social media and its addictive potential. And he said: "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains".

Apple Inc.is the largest holding in CalSTRS' domestic equities portfolio worth close to $1.9 billion (as of December 31, 2017).

The California State Teachers Retirement System, or CalSTRS, is a retirement fund that invests more than $US200 billion on behalf of state-employed teachers. They see progress on this front by Apple as good for children's health and for the bottom line.

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