iPhone addiction: vice or virtue?

Apple Inc investors are shrugging off concerns raised by two shareholders about kids getting hooked on iPhones, saying that for now a little addiction might not be a bad thing for profits. Ivor Bennett reports.

(Reuters) – There’s always a rush to pick up the latest Apple device

But some investors fear, it’s now proving too difficult to put it back down again.

Two shareholders have voiced concerns over iPhone addiction among children

suggesting smartphone overuse could be hurting brain development.

PETER DIXON, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK,

“It goes to a wider point which has been made by central bankers that are smartphone apps are quite detrimental particularly because it tends to interrupt the normal flow of economic activity.”

But not all Apple investors agree

To others, addiction means profit.

The habitual nature of gadgets and social media is one reason why companies like Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet added 630 billion dollars to their market value in 2017.

The company’s by no means in the realm of the so-called sin stocks yet – cigarettes, alcohol and gambling – but some warn the similar trait could bring similar regulation.

PETER DIXON, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, COMMERZBANK, SAYING:

“That’s certainly something which might at the margin have played a role in productivity or the weakness there of over the course of recent years. And it’s likely therefore that some of the bigger I.T. companies will come under increasing pressure from policy makers to, you know, tone it down a bit.”

In a statement Apple sought to reassure investors

by saying it took its responsibilities very seriously and that there are new parental control tools in the works.

But as the market opened in New York, another potential headache for investors

An Apple store in Switzerland had to be evacuated after an iPhone battery overheated, injuring a repairman.


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