Steve took our Jobs, says Finnish Prime Minister

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Most of us couldn’t have been any more excited for the iPhone and iPad. Then again, most of us aren’t the Finnish Prime Minister.

Speaking to Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has accused Apple’s late-founder Steve Jobs of crushing his country’s job market with two innovations that caught Finland completely off-guard.

“We had two pillars we stood on: one was the IT industry, the other one was the paper industry,” Stubb said — noting that both were affected by the arrival of Apple’s smartphone and tablet combo in the mid-2000s.

“Nalle Wahlroos, president of (Swedish bank) Nordea, described it quite well when he said the iPhone knocked out Nokia and the iPad knocked out the forestry,” Stubb continued.

He went on to say that Apple is at least partly to blame for an economy still struggling to recover after two years of recession. The struggling Nokia was eventually sold to Microsoft in a deal that was completed in April this year.

“Yes, Steve Jobs took our jobs, but this is beginning to change,” Stubb noted. “Our forestry is slowly but surely shifting from paper to bioenergy. Our IT industry is moving towards gaming, it’s not just about hardware like the Nokia mobiles.”

While it’s a bit harsh to blame Finland’s economic troubles entirely on Cupertino, it’s a reminder of why the kind of tech disruption Apple specializes in isn’t always good for those on the wrong side of it.

  • Adrayven

    He’s blaming it on the iPhone and iPad combo from the mid 2000s? umm iPhone came out 2007 and iPad 2010.. So if the issue’s started when he says, when both iPhone and iPad were release together, it was 2010.. Please.. the iPad hardly single-handedly killed off paper use. Paper use has been on decline for years.. This guy is smoking something and stretching it to extremes just looking to blame anyone but himself or his counterparts..

    As for Nokia, well, they failed to counter Apple.. Thats pure business and if a country totally relies on just one company.. ummm.. well, Egg’s in one basket anyone?

    • Ben Carmona

      Nobody countered Apple. Like nobody. Android squeaked in because nobody was competing against Android. Dude isn’t smoking anything, he’s highly intelligent and qualified.

  • Robin de Wilde

    In other words, because Nokia didn’t act on the innovation which Apple started, Steve Jobs is guilty? I think Nokia was just to stuborn to think ahead and tried to promote their own newly made OS (Maemo) while others (Samsung, HTC, Sony, Acer, etc.) all tried to get some breadcrums too with touchscreens in stead of stylusses

    • Zergonome

      In other words, because Nokia was too fidgety to stick with one strategy — which could have been ‘a polished Maemo everywhere’ — Steve Jobs is guilty?

      ftfy

  • moofer

    Innovate or die.

  • TJ

    Nokia did not innovate fast enough, blame yourselves. They had practically the whole industry at one point but never saw the smartphone coming. That’s pretty weak….

  • bobthenob

    Damn you Ford, my buggy whip business is suffering …

  • LachRuhig

    So Finland switches to a new renewable energy source, creates more games, and we get the iPhone and the iPad? Sounds to me like everybody wins.

  • http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/ Russ Hughes

    No one ‘steals’ your business, you give it away.

  • BM

    Boohoo, give me a minute to cry a river for this ridiculous statement.

  • williambaranowski

    The Walmart of tech.

  • Jeremiah_Nilsson

    As a Swede – we are neighbours with Finland, and Finnish news is often also Swedish News…I just say…. Steve Jobs is not responsible.

    The Finns themselves, being cocky and bragging about how good their phones with Symbian etc was… And those pesky Smartphones… hahahaha.. 3% market, and Apple – ptffft! ridicolus… A Computer company trying to understand the Phone industry???
    Also connecting a Ericsson or Nokia phone to a Mac was a pretty bad experience…

    Apple sold millions, Nobody wanted antique dumbphones from Nokia.
    They had their chance to do something new, they never took it.

    They never came out with anything exciting.

    I recall when the business in my country was Ericsson or Nokia – nothing else…
    Nowadays it’s iOS or Android.

    I hope WP survives – it’s not bad. A third player is needed. I like my 1520.

    • mahadragon

      Windows Phone is not bad (I had an HTC Radar), but their App Store is.

    • Kikkelikakkeli

      How is your auto business so far? How is Saab doing? Volvo..oh..chinese owns it. And you mention Ericsson too? How its hanging? :) Lol.. cocky.. in your ass swedu!

      • Jeremiah_Nilsson

        Sweden is not in a economic depression.

        Ericsson and Swedish industry is doing fine.
        Export industry is in postivie balance.
        Why Volvo sold out the cars to china is still a debated question.
        But the main question was that it took to many billions to develop new cars…but how would you know that?

        Oh, sorry, I forgot, Finland HAD a car manufacturing plant once..
        A SAAB factory, which made the 900 model for a couple of years.

        SAAB did not make good enough cars, thats why they are out of business.

        How’s it hanging in Finland? Unemployed and so much Vodka….

        Also; registering in your nick on Disqus JUST to reply says a lot…

  • James O’Loughlin

    Sounds like a horse blaming Henry Ford for takin ow’jabs.

  • mattheus

    “Our IT industry is moving to gaming…” Not a good trade-off. Anyone in the world can make a game. Nokia was unique.

  • pdq3

    Seems to me that it was Elop more than Jobs, but it’s easier to blame the dead guy than your previous dysfunctional Microsoftian CEO.

    • tornacious

      Bah, by the time Elop got in there the battle was already lost and Nokia was done for. It’s a rollercoaster industry dude. You had your day, now just go away quietly. If you want to blame anyone, blame the silly customers who stopped buying your “leading edge, high tech, best of breed” dumb phones.

      • JG

        Elop was a total catastrophe. OPK was too. They share the blame and should both be ashamed of their performance so bad it betrayed their country.

  • Herman Wapenaar

    Sorry. this is some time back. You couldn’t innovate and now you blame Steve? Most original excuse in decades….

  • Mark_42

    If Nokia had responded quickly with something comparable, there might not have been such a problem. But Nokia (like RIM) proved to be as nimble as a whale and made poor decisions at just the wrong time. It wasn’t Jobs’ fault the competition was caught unaware and unfit to compete.

    I thought prime ministers were supposed to be moderately intelligent and not act whiny little children.

  • Tallest Skil

    So you’re too stupid to figure out how to compete, and instead of repurposing (or, rather, in addition to), you whine that it meant the destruction of your established systems that were worse than their replacements.

    Great going, Finns.

  • William Donelson

    My company repeatedly warned Nokia that Symbian was a total loser, long before the iPhone.

  • tornacious

    Waaaaaaaah, wah wah waaaaaaaaah!!!!!!!!

  • josephsinger

    So, because Nokia Oy was sleeping and did what they did in the mobile phone sphere it’s Apple’s fault? The fault is that Nokia should have been refining what they do with their mobile offerings. Perhaps if they had fiddled with Symbian more than they did Apple wouldn’t have been the success that they were. As any company should know you cannot rest on your laurels. Just because Nokia was the number 1 handset manufacturer it doesn’t mean that it will stay there unless it keeps up.

  • Jonez86

    Only have themselves to blame, stupid statement.. .

  • dägä

    Stubb is an idiot if he really blames Apple for any of the current economic challenges here. Our paper industry has been moving to China for more than a decade and, well, Nokia has themselves to blame for being arrogant towards new trends in mobile phones. The company made a phone with e-mail, installable apps and a full web browser in the 1990’s ffs, only problem was they never got their products UI to a level where a non-engineer user could take advantage of the advanced features and even normal phone stuff was quirky at times. Engineers making stuff for engineers, not normal people.

  • YoungLad

    Apple ipped off Nokia!!!! Nokia is the best!!!!! (Our prime minister is 100%% right Steve Jobs stole our jobs by bribry!!!!!!!!!!!)

  • Ben Carmona

    Dear Lord Americans are so dumb. The iPad and iPhone eliminated markets and industries for many countries. And Finland has the most advanced primary educational system in the world, they’ll resolve their crises. Hell, most people in these comments don’t even know spelling or punctuation.

    It looks like he was asked “So do you think Steve Jobs took your jobs”? To which he replied, “Yes, Steve….” It doesn’t appear that he’s making a global public outcry against Apple. Sensationalism yo.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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