from the took-'em-long-enough dept
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.It's unclear what "inventions and innovations" would be "stolen" (the company probably means infringed, not stolen, obviously) without such an NDA in place. Also, the patents are a separate issue. The whole explanation, frankly, is misleading. The NDA and the patents protect entirely different things in very different ways, and it's difficult to see how the lack of an NDA allows anything to be "ripped off."
Either way, it's good that Apple has recognized that such NDA's significantly limit its developers. It's tough to have much of a developer "community" when said developers are barred from communicating.