Finnish leader points finger at Apple for its economic woes

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The sheer size and reach of Apple, and its dominance in the global marketplace, has led one world leader to blame the tech titan for its current economic woes.

“The iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the paper industry, but we’ll make a comeback,” Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb told CNBC on Monday.

The European nation recently had its credit rating downgraded by Standard & Poor’s and is currently one of northern Europe’s weakest economies.

If you’re thinking Stubb’s statement was simply for soundbite purposes, geared toward getting a few column inches in publications around the world, you’re probably at least partly right.

However, it’s not the first time Finland’s leader has pointed the finger at the Cupertino company, suggesting he’s sincere in his comments that Apple has indeed had a hand in damaging the business of his country’s once mighty mobile maker, as well as knocking its important paper industry as more people turn to tablets as their main reading device (it seems like Amazon’s big-selling e-readers slipped Stubb’s mind).

‘Steve Jobs took our jobs’

In an interview over the summer with a Swedish news outlet, Finland’s leader spoke of how, until relatively recently, his country stood firmly on the pillars of the IT industry and the paper industry. Echoing the comments of Bjorn Wahlroos, chairman of Scandinavian financial services giant Nordea, Stubb said “the iPhone knocked out Nokia, and the iPad knocked out the forestry.” He even said that “Steve Jobs took our jobs.”

Of course, his comments could be taken as a nod of admiration for Apple’s phenomenal success, as he certainly didn’t sound indignant when he spoke on CNBC this week.

Indeed, Stubb is no doubt well aware that it was Nokia’s failure to embrace the smartphone market more quickly that resulted in it losing out to the likes of BlackBerry, and later Apple and Samsung.

The Finnish phone maker’s devices and services business was bought by Microsoft back in April, though restructuring at the computer giant announced in recent months means thousands of jobs in the acquired unit look set to go.

While the rise in digital consumption may indeed have impacted Finland’s paper industry to some degree, the country’s leader remains upbeat, claiming the business is making a comeback with the rise of the bio-energy sector.

As for its technology industry, all it has to do is come up with the next big thing and it’ll be sorted….

[Source: MacRumors, TechCrunch]