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The Wall Street Journal: Apple defends its record amid criticism over iPhones’ effect on kids

Apple Inc. defended its record of providing parental controls and other protections for children who use its iPhones and other devices, after a pair of prominent investors called on the tech giant to take more steps to curb the ill effects of smartphones.

In a statement late Monday, Apple AAPL, -0.37%   said that its mobile software includes extensive parental controls governing different types of content and applications, noting that it started offering some of them as early as 2008.

Read: 6 ways to make smartphones more humane — and less addictive

“We think deeply about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them,” Apple said in the statement. “We take this responsibility very seriously and we are committed to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations, especially when it comes to protecting kids.”

The statement didn’t directly comment on a letter sent to Apple on Saturday by Jana Partners LLC, a leading activist investor, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or Calstrs, a major pension fund. That letter, first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, urged Apple to develop new software tools to help parents control and limit phone use. They also asked the company to assist in studying the impact of overuse of smartphones on mental health.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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