In July the arrest of a German intelligence employee for allegedly spying for the US had caused an uproar among German politicians. The country's foreign minister had demanded an immediate clarification of the situation from Washington. Of course this was putting salt in an already open wound over the NSA bugging Merkel's phone, causing her to switch to a Canadian BlackBerry smartphone using their encryption Secusite. Today Apple went on a PR offensive to remind Europeans the good that Apple is doing for their economy.
Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that "Apple reminded Europe that the App Store—which offers everything from Angry Birds to Menstruation Tracking Apps—isn't just a place to download games, but a force for economic growth.
Apple has said that "Roughly 500,000 jobs have been created in Europe that are directly attributable to the App Store. Of the more than $20 billion developers have earned from App Store sales worldwide, $6.5 billion has been paid to European developers. In 2014 the overall app economy is expected to deliver $16.5 billion in revenues to EU GDP, and this contribution is growing at a rate of 12% per year." Yet the news may not be as appreciated as much as Apple is hoping for.
While it's true that Apple has created jobs for Europeans on one hand, the iPhone killed off Nokia which was providing much higher paying jobs. Finland's Prime Minister Alexander Stubb squarely faults Apple for their financial crisis. So Apple has a lot more PR to do in order to counter the latest round of political poison that's in the air, especially in context with "NSA security concerns," that is being used by China and Russia.
Just today, China's government officially excluded Apple iPads and MacBook laptops from the list of products that can be bought with public money because of security concerns. Apple's new PR campaign has gotten off to a good start and even announced today that they're dropping legal action in Europe over their patent disputes with Samsung. Yet there's a lot more that has to be done in order to stem this new negative tide of news that is being aimed at them.