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?