Finnish prime minister accuses Apple of crashing his country’s economy


Photo: Estonian Foreign Ministry/Flickr
Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb. Photo: Estonian Foreign Ministry/Flickr

People blame Apple for the craziest things: from crafting metal devices that bend if you apply enough pressure, to giving out free albums, to — now — crashing national economies.

Today’s “gate” incident (Finnishgate?) comes from Finland Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, who blames the iPhone maker for bringing down two of his country’s biggest exports: Nokia and paper.

“The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” Alexander Stubb told an interviewer for CNBC.

This isn’t the first time he’s accused Apple of doing damage to the Finnish economy. “We had two pillars we stood on: One was the IT industry, the other one was the paper industry,” Stubb told Swedish financial newspaper Dagens Industri earlier this year — continuing that both were affected by the arrival of Apple’s smartphone and tablet combo in the mid-2000s. “Steve Jobs took our jobs.”

Continuing today’s comments, Stubb noted that advances in bio energy and other areas are helping the forestry industry to recover, while the new Nokia Networks (created after Microsoft acquired Nokia’s devices and services division for $7 billion-plus) is in the process of re-establishing itself.

Not mentioned in his comments, but pointed out by TechCrunch, is the fact that Apple’s actually been paying money to Nokia for years, in the form of intellectual property licensing agreements. Although it’s not known exactly how much these payments add up to, former CEO Stephen Elop claimed Nokia was making more than $650 million per year from licensing deals with Apple and others.

But maybe that doesn’t fit the anti-Apple narrative?

  • Marco

    Please, change the title to the photo “Photo: Estonian Foreign Ministry/Flickr”.
    This is not the Estonian Foreign Minister….

    • Luke Dormehl

      Hey Marco. I’ll change the name of the picture, but this is the correct credit for the image. It’s about ownership, rather than who the picture is of.

      • Duh

        The photo was taken at the Estonian Foreign Ministry.

  • jari

    Mr Stubb said few weeks ago that he don`t need newspapers. He can read all the news from Ipad. Clever hipster… He is really nailing our paper industry and printed media.And Nokia can look the mirror and find the reason for their slide…

  • Jeremiah_Nilsson

    This is old news. It was news weeks ago.
    Not so much blaming as just putting up dry facts.

  • Zoinkzz

    Finnish quote of the day “Steve Jobs took our jobs!” Oh my god, I think I am going to laugh myself to death and I just got into work..

  • Jovany Zapata

    But wasn’t it Microsoft that killed Nokia?

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    How is that possible? Supposedly Android is the the most prolific mobile OS on the planet and most people in the world own Android smartphones (84%), so how does Apple’s iPhone (12%) with its small market share hurt Finland’s economy. Most articles now have how Android tablets are killing Apple iPads in sales, so if anything is ruining the paper industry it would be those cheap Android tablets that sell for next-to-nothing. It’s being said that millions of those cheap Android tablets are sold every month and they’re claimed to be ruining iPad sales. I think all the blame on Finland’s economy can be blamed on the rise of Android OS. Blame Google for that.

    • Robert Ivey

      Market share does not equal profit.Apple still winning, because most Android based phones make almost no profit.

  • “Print is dead”
    -Dr. Egon Spengler, 1984

  • gareth edwards

    Nokia killed Nokia. Period.

  • William Donelson

    During a joint venture about 6-7 years ago now, we warned Nokia (many times) that Symbian was a boat anchor. They refused to pay attention.

  • Bob Level

    Nokia stopped innovating long before M$ bought them. That was the problem.

    • Innovation didn’t stop. *Execution* was the issue. I was there.

  • Joel A. Edge

    “Steve Jobs took our jobs.”
    Souldn’t that be “Dey turk err jurbs,”

  • FOffFinland

    Good riddance

  • Remember Nokia’s “Open to Anything” faux app store?

  • Word is that he was taken out of context. But considering that wouldn’t fit the anti-Nokia narrative…

  • DarthDisney

    Guess they should have diversified, and he should be blaming MS for Nokias fall.

  • “The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” Alexander Stubb told an interviewer.

    “Not if I have anything to do with it!” Apple CEO Tim Cook blogged, well known for his anti-Finnish statements in the past.

  • A Big Sarcastic Fairy!

    Singing: “The iPhone killed the Nokia star”, or “The iPad killed the newspaper star”. Last but not least “Apple killed the Finnish economy”. All sung to “Video killed the radio star”.

  • Sven

    This is why the EU has a deep crisis and there will be no recovery… because of this high level political stupidity…

    • Stuart Hobbs

      Or people called Sven who try to compete in a capitalist economy with a socialist government. When will you airy fairy Scandinavians learn that to play with the big leagues you must have a capitalist agenda, that is the driving force of growth and innovation.

      • Duh

        In terms of overall success and quality of life and educated people, all the Scandinavian countries are already in the big leagues – they are world leaders, unlike the US. And just so you know, America is not that “capitalist” and far from the laissez-faire wonderland it makes out to be. The way you use the word “capitalist” and “socialist” makes what you say sound like Soviet propaganda. And note, Finns came up with most of the technology that made the iPhone possible. Oh, and Finland is not a part of Scandinavia, it is Nordic. And it is not a socialist. Do your research buddy, or get an education

  • Hard Little Machine

    Try having an economy based on more than two things next time.

  • SloppyFrenchKisser

    And it’s Apple at the Finnish line!

  • Tom Birmingham

    innovation is the name of the game in Tech. Your nations industry were slow to change and innovate. I mean, symbian was a good OS for your half ass smartphones you started putting out. However the designs and pricing were not competitive. But don’t worry, there are ups and downs … you’re just at the bottom of the trough right now.

  • Jim

    Don’t blame Apple. Blame Microsoft.

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    “Apple’s actually been paying money to Nokia for years, in the form of intellectual property licensing agreements”

    Gee, I thought everything built by Apple was the result of its own innovation.