Apple Drops iPhone NDA

apple-dev war

Apple has dropped the NDA covering the iPhone SDK. Developers will now be able to discuss how they develop for the iPhone. This was one of the biggest complaints developers (and technical publishers) had about developing for the platform. Apple posted the following message.

We have decided to drop the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for released iPhone software.

We put the NDA in place because the iPhone OS includes many Apple inventions and innovations that we would like to protect, so that others don’t steal our work. It has happened before. While we have filed for hundreds of patents on iPhone technology, the NDA added yet another level of protection. We put it in place as one more way to help protect the iPhone from being ripped off by others.

However, the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success, so we are dropping it for released software. Developers will receive a new agreement without an NDA covering released software within a week or so. Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.

Thanks to everyone who provided us constructive feedback on this matter.

This is great news. I look forward to the many online tutorials, events (like our own iPhoneLive) and books (like the Prag’s) that will bloom.

I am sure that the developer excitement around open-source and not-NDA’d Android was a factor in the decision making. Hopefully, Apple will listen to more constructive feedback (such as the latest Engadget Cares essay) and start letting apps of all type, even those that compete with their own, be released on the iPhone platform.

(Image courtesy of Jonathan Roher)

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