Smartphone addiction is getting out of hand, according to the head of a company that’s made a fortune on smartphones.
Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook weighed in on excessive smartphone usage AAPL, +1.77% and other topics Monday, at Fortune Magazine’s CEO Initiative event in San Francisco.
‘I think it’s become clear to all of us that some of us are spending too much time on our devices, and we’ve tried to think through pretty deeply about how we can help that. Honestly, we’ve never wanted people to overuse our products.’
Cook said that “some” users are spending too much time on their phones and other devices, which was “never” Apple’s intention.
“We want people to be empowered from [their phones] and do things they couldn’t do otherwise. But if you spend all your time on your phone, then you are spending too much time,” Cook said.
Apple faced calls from activist investors earlier this year that urged the company to consider the effects of smartphone usage and screen time on children. Jana Partners and the California State Teachers Retirement System
issued an open letter to Apple in January in which they said that “for at least some of the most frequent young users,” the ubiquity of Apple products and social media “may be having unintentional negative consequences.”
The smartphone giant introduced
efforts to curb screen time at its WWDC eventearlier in June.
The forthcoming iOS 12 mobile operating system will give users the ability to view reports on overall smartphone usage and specific app usage, and users can set limits for a certain amount of time per day with a given app. Apple also upgraded its Do Not Disturb mode, which turns off notifications at night, and introduced options that will let users manage the notifications they get during the day.
Parents will be able to use new tools to institute “down time” for their kids that will lock iOS devices.
Cook said at the Fortune event that the company’s latest steps weren’t a response to any particular call.
Apple shares were up 1.6% in Tuesday trading. The stock has gained 27% over the past 12 months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA, +0.39% has risen 14%.