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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Finnish Prime Minister partly blames Apple for economic troubles

Finnish Prime Minister partly blames Apple for economic troubles
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Oct 13, 2014, 04:18 PM
Apple may be partially responsible for the economic troubles of two major industries in Finland, the country's Prime Minister has claimed. Alexander Stubb suggests Apple's products have impacted its mobile device and paper industries to such a level that it caused an economic downturn, and also caused the Nordic country to endure a sovereign debt rating downgrade.

Stubb told CNBC "We had two industrial problems, we have two champions which went down. One was of course Nokia in the ICT sector, and the other has to do with the forest and paper industry." Acknowledging that Nokia is still alive without its mobile phone arm, sold to Microsoft for $7.2 billion, Stubb claims "We do need a few more success stories," and suggests dire times prompts innovation. "A little bit paradoxically I guess one could say that the iPhone killed Nokia and the iPad killed the Finnish paper industry, but we'll make a comeback."

Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Stubb
Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Stubb

Before Nokia's Devices and Services sale, the company endured a significant loss of revenue over time, with it reaching peak popularity in the early 2000s. Sales were eroded away by a combination of the iPhone and the rise of other competitors, including Samsung, and Nokia seemingly failed to keep up, eventually selling off its loss-making arm keeping its networking, location, and patent businesses intact. Even the Nokia business picked up by Microsoft is not safe despite the purchase, as the company advised it would be cutting 18,000 jobs over the next year, with the majority coming from its freshly-purchased division.

Statistics from the Finnish Forest Research Institute found that the forest and paper industry has contracted over the last few years, with the institute's most recent report for 2013 warning of a "poor situation" for paper production, as well as a forecast that exports would continue to shrink in 2014. Though electronic devices cannot be directly blamed for the paper industry's issues in the country, the rise of online publications at the expense of newspapers could be seen as a contributing factor. Despite this, Stubb suggests "Forest is coming back in terms of bio energy" and other different types of business.

Standard & Poor, a ratings agency, downgraded Finland from AAA status to AA+ last Friday, claiming the country was exposed to sanctions affecting Russia, had weak development, and was likely to experience "protracted stagnation" caused though a shrinking workforce and weak demand for Finish produce.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Oct 13, 2014 at 04:19 PM. )
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Oct 13, 2014, 05:07 PM
The iPhone didn't kill Nokia. Nokia killed itself by sleeping through the smart phone revolution and then teaming up with the company (MS) that missed it as well.
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Oct 13, 2014, 05:30 PM
Blame seems like too strong a word here. He attributes the decline of two Finnish industries to brilliant Apple products.
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Oct 13, 2014, 05:38 PM
I was delighted by the Finns I met when I visited there. They're a friendly, smart and hard-working people If they don't let themselves get caught up in the dread Blame Syndrome, as their prime minister seems to be suggesting here, they'll do fine. Software development can replace cell phones and wood for furniture can replace paper. Blaming others is for losers and fools. You can't change others. You can change yourself.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
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Oct 13, 2014, 05:55 PM
Guess they're just now coming round to how consumers are voting with their wallets, and it ain't Windows Phone :-(
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Oct 13, 2014, 07:09 PM
For those of you who don't speak Finnish, allow me to translate: "We don't know how to compete with Apple, and also it's 2014."
Just sayin'
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Oct 13, 2014, 08:20 PM
He's absolutely correct, but so what? It's the Finns' responsibility to adapt to the times, not simply milk the cash cow until it runs out of milk.
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Oct 13, 2014, 09:19 PM
As it's said, "He who snoozes, loses". But chin up, Finland, you are SO good as so many other things. Make the most of what's strong in your economy and you'll be fine!

Some of the finest art, mostly in the form of glassware, virtually overwhelms my home. and every piece is a marvel of old and new glass technologies. One more beautiful then the next! Obviously that's just an example of one of their strengths.
Jeff Simpson
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Oct 13, 2014, 11:02 PM
Ja, and our whaling industry and pen/plume industry are suffering, too, doncha know.
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Oct 13, 2014, 11:39 PM
It's clear from this article (as well as others) that he didn't *blame* Apple for the demise, he *attributed* the demise to Apple. There's a huge difference. "Blame" makes it sound like he's got a grudge against Apple, when in actuality, his words don't convey that at all.
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