Blog Post

Apple Officially Drops the iPhone NDA

iPhone Developers ’round the world can breathe a sigh of relief today. Seven months after the release of Apple’s iPhone SDK, the restrictive NDA that Apple placed on the SDK has officially been dropped.

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 for everyone involved and will certainly increase the quality of apps as developers will be able to freely exchange information. Of course, the other side of this is that the number of “beginner” apps being submitted to the App Store will most likely greatly increase. I imagine Apple has significantly increased the workload of the staff of people who approve/reject submitted applications. Poor guys.

This is also great news for our iPhone SDK Tutorial. All of those comments about the Apple police knocking down our door thankfully never came true. Props to Apple for doing the right thing.

8 Responses to “Apple Officially Drops the iPhone NDA”

  1. Darrell Etherington

    Does this mean they’ve taken their fingers out of their ears and are finally listening to what iPhone customers are asking for? Dare I hope for OS-wide copy-and-paste? I daren’t. The disappointment would be to great.

  2. “Please note that unreleased software and features will remain under NDA until they are released.”

    I take that to mean that AppStore rejection notices would still be covered by an NDA, no? This, coupled with the revamped commenting system, are nice first steps – but I’m still a bit concerned about the banning/rejecting of apps based on the fact that they duplicate/compete with Apple’s apps. And I’m a fanboy!