The letter says: "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". "We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers' expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids". Currently, every iPhone running iOS has access to a set of parental controls that can be activated at any time.
The social rights issue is a new turn for Jana, which is known for pushing companies it invests in to make financial changes.
The request that Apple investigate the effects of smartphone usage was prompted by two organizations: Jana Partners and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, or Calstrs.
The shareholders are concerned that the "entrancing qualities" of iPhones have "fostered a public health crisis" that could hurt both children and the company, according to Bloomberg.
Specifically, it details that young owners and users of smartphones, who spend four hours or more on their phones each day, are at a greater risk of suffering from depression when they're older, when compared to those who use their phones for one hour or less, each day.
The letter Apple was responding to, sent by activist shareholders representing a total of $2 billion worth of AAPL stock, suggested features such as the ability to limit on-screen time and parental monitoring of what kids are doing with their mobile devices.
Apple didn't commit to providing such funding, nor did it make mention of a timeline for new parental control features that it intends to introduce.