Apple has been urged to tackle the “device addiction”

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Large investors have called for Apple to develop the software that limits for how long children can use their own smartphones.

The call came from two investment groups who hold $2 billion (£1.48 bn) of Apple shares between them.

A letter of call to the digital locks, which was signed by Jana Partners, the California teachers’ pension fund, was sent to the manufacturer of the iPhone this weekend.

The call for a better control, it has been welcomed by academics who study young people’s use of technology.Design conflict

Jana Partners and the California State teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) asked Apple to consider the impact that the excessive use of the smartphone has had on the mental health of young people.

The two are worried that if Apple does not meet the growing concerns about the use of smartphones, its stock market value and general reputation could be damaged.

According to a Reuters report, half of US teenagers believe they are addicted to their mobile phones, and feels the need to respond immediately to messages.

Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology at the London School of Economics, said it was nice to hear the call on the part of investors.

Has added to be a voice among the device manufacturers, social media companies and internet service providers (Isp) on the question of the use of the smartphone.

“For a long time, the concern was not to do anything that would have an impact of a clutch with no experience,” Prof Livingstone said the BBC.

“Each of us would like to have a balanced life, but the way in which the devices are designed currently causes a lot of conflict with parents.”

Called Apple and other device manufacturers to have all the notifications on your smartphone off by default, and for creating occasional reminders that he has urged the youth to take a break from their phone after long periods of use.

Prof Livingstone, who also runs a parenting blog, not question the use of the term “dependence” for those who spend a lot of time with the smartphone, however.

“Everyone will agree that there is an excessive use and even obsession with smartphones, but I don’t think that is the drug,” he said.

Apple has not yet responded to requests for comment.