Apple boss Tim Cook insisted that he is in favor of limiting screen time for children – even as iPhone maker remains heavily reliant on hardware sales to drive revenue for its business.
Cook suggested that parents and administrations should look to curtail the use of smartphones as part of a sweeping interview with GQ Magazine released Monday. His comments came after a GQ reporter said his young son was “obsessed” with his smartphone.
“Kids are born digital, they’re digital kids now,” Cook said during the interview. “And it is, I think, really important to set some hard rails around it.”
“We don’t want people using our phones too much,” the Apple CEO added. “We’re not incentivized for that. We don’t want that. We provide tools so people don’t do that.”
Apple generated more than $205 billion in net sales for iPhones in fiscal 2022 alone, according to company filings released in September. The figure marked a company record.
Cook pointed out that Apple offers an app called “Screen Time,” which tracks phone usage and allows parents to set limits on device usage, downloads and content for their children
“We try to get people tools in order to help them put the phone down,” Cook said. “Because my philosophy is, if you’re looking at the phone more than you’re looking in somebody’s eyes, you’re doing the wrong thing.
Cook said that he looks at his own screen time report “pretty religiously.”
This isn’t the first time that Cook has grumbled about phone usage. In 2020, the executive told the “Outside Podcast” that he had cut back on app notifications after noting his own screen time was “very high.”
Cook’s remarks on smartphone overuse came as Big Tech firms across the sector face increased scrutiny from federal lawmakers on an array of issues ranging from their business practices to data privacy and content moderation.
Most of the pressure has fallen on ByteDance-owned TikTok, whose CEO, Shou Zi Chew, was grilled on Capitol Hill last month over the company’s failure to adequately police content for underage users.
Apple has also faced antitrust scrutiny from the Justice Department, which reportedly escalated a probe earlier this year exploring potential anticompetitive practices toward third-party apps.
The probe is also examining whether Apple’s IOS operating system, which is used on its iPhones, favors the company’s own software products over those developed by rivals.
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