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An #Apple a day used to keep the doctor away but according to Apple shareholders, it’s an addiction that needs to be monitored.

In 2017, Apple was in and out of news feeds everywhere for both good and not so good reasons. The company attempted to override the negative press by highlighting their goals, values, and commitment to their customers. As the new year began people were left wondering, what would happen next? Business can simply be explained with the analogy of a chessboard. Both sides want to overrule the other and every move is a power play for dominance and control. Every move is well calculated and played with an end goal in mind.

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After all, the negative press is still a means to get your name on the minds of everyone who hears it. This leaves us with the question of why the Apple shareholders decided to start 2018 off with an interesting plea to Apple that could paint them in a negative light once again.

News organizations like CNN, CNBC, and USA Today, have been buzzing with the latest in Apple news when the shareholders/investors Jana Partners and CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) asked Apple to acknowledge their devices are addictive to children and to help bring change.

A public letter to Apple was released on the "Think Differently About Kids" website where Jana Partners and CalSTRS share their concerns and request. According to the letter, the shareholders asked Apple to create stronger parental controls to limit the time kids spend on their devices.

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Since this letter was released, news media outlets such as CNN have run with this story and begun comparing smartphones to cigarettes and while it makes for an interesting story they are missing the bigger picture.

What is really happening with Apple?

This recent request from investors and shareholders Jana and CalSTRS is fascinating not because of what they are requesting but because of why they are making such a request. Is the parental control issue merely a smoke and mirror to something bigger happening? When Apple first released the iPhone they had implemented parental controls that allow parents to choose what their children will have access to. The same is true on Apple computers as well. All a parent has to do is go under the “restrictions” setting on an iPhone, iPod, or iPad and customize the experience they want their child to have on the device. Oh, but wait, they also have to create a unique passcode, separate from the device’s passcode, to access the restrictions. Which means the parent has the ultimate control over the device.

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Therefore, if the shareholders and investors were concerned about what children have access to and how much they use their devices, wouldn’t they be creating a campaign to educate parents on how they can limit their child’s use on the devices? Doesn’t this seem like an issue of whether parents are being held accountable for their interest in their children’s lives rather than Apple creating addictive devices? Other smartphones like Samsung and Google are just as addictive as Apple and they also have parental controls built in as well.

Parental controls are not the issue and studies have been done for years that discuss the effects of daily technology use and the potentially addictive nature of it. This addition affects not just children but adults as well. Again, this appears to be a diversion tactic to get the focus off the real issue at hand.

The question everyone should be asking is, why are shareholders who, according to a CNBC report, reportedly own about $2 billion worth of Apple stock willing to create negative press for the company and cause the stock to drop?

Asking the right questions tend to expose the truth of a situation and until now, no one has asked what their true motives behind this request may be. Here are a couple theories to consider as you read and hear more about this story.

Is this a hostile take over in the making?

The first theory is that of a hostile take over or a poison pill tactic. In business, there is a term known as the “poison pill” which is a shareholder rights plan to defend against a potential take over. It can also be employed to weaken the company to bring about financial change or to discourage others from trying to take over the company. This technique can also be implemented by a company when they want to stop shareholders from owning too much of the company via stocks. If someone on the inside is wanting to take over the company they could continue to purchase stock and acquire a higher stake in the company.

The company, such as Apple, would then usher in the poison pill technique to prevent anyone from acquiring a higher stake in the company and thus protecting itself from a hostile take over. Are the shareholders and investors trying to usurp #tim cook? When looking at Apple’s history #Steve Jobs was fired from the company in 1985 when then CEO John Sculley believed Jobs was putting a financial strain on the company after debuting the Mac and finding disappointing sales figures. It wasn’t until 1996, almost ten years later, that a struggling Apple would acquire NeXT, Steve Jobs latest tech company, and launch Jobs into the CEO role. From that point forward Apple saw its greatest successes.

History always tends to repeat itself which leads us to wonder if shareholders and investors are questioning Tim Cook’s leadership of the company and looking to find someone else? Could the shareholders and investors be using the addiction of iPhones as a cover for trying to take over Tim Cook’s position and replace him with someone else?

Who are the Jana Partners?

Interestingly enough, Jana Partners have been labeled as activist investors when it comes to matters they believe are important. There is a notable history of Jana making major changes within large companies. In 2016 according to Bloomberg, Time Inc. replaced their CEO only about a month after Jana acquired a stake in the publishing company. Jana acquired a large stake in Whole Foods and began demanding change to bring up the company's value according to the NY Times.

Reuters reported in early 2017 that Jana also acquired a stake in Tiffany & Co. where they added three new directors to the board to try and bring in a younger audience to promote sales. According to Bloomberg, Jana also acquired a stake in CSC (Computer Science Corporation) who is a notable technology consultant to governments and businesses. CSC has been trying to change the direction of how they operate and Jana Partners swooped in to help.

Is the government trying to control Apple?

Jana Partners now has joined forces with CalSTRS to bring about change within Apple. CalSTRS is a government-run organization within California. Is it possible that this is just the beginning of a massive chess game between Apple and the government for a power play? Could the government be aligning with Jana to obtain power within Apple Inc?

The second theory falls into the realm of the government trying to take firmer control of Apple. As you might remember in 2016 Apple went head to head with the FBI on whether or not it was ethically right to create a backdoor to their software. Apple held firm in its stance that just because they could create a backdoor did not mean it was the right decision. They refused to help the FBI and the case was later dropped when the FBI obtained the information it was seeking without Apple’s assistance.

This was not the first time the government has asked Apple for help such as this and every time they have denied the government assistance. It’s possible that the government is now trying a new strategy.Ultimately, time will tell whether this is just a passing issue or something much larger in the works. What’s most important to take away from this is that things aren’t always as they seem.