"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 donÂt steal our work. It has happened before," the company said in a statement on its iPhone developer site.
"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."
Apple went on to acknowledge that the iPhone NDA "has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhoneÂs success, so we are dropping it for released software."
The Cupertino-based company is currently drafting a new agreement withoutÂ*an NDAÂ*covering released software that developers will have to sign later this month.