back to article The Jesus Phone NDA - No one cares but you

Earlier this month, Apple lifted the heavy-handed nondisclosure agreement it imposes on developers. This NDA regulated what tips and tricks developers may share with each other (hint: none), which made it a real pain in the ass to publish a book about iPhone programming. Developers got really buttsore over this and did what …


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  1. Pete Spicer

    Not up to the usual standard

    Not one mention of 'sh*t'. Ted is slipping.

  2. Paul

    As Napoleon once said...

    "Never attribute to malice, that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

    Or in more Anglo-Saxon terms, "cock-up before conspiracy".

    People seem to forget that companies are made up of people, who screw up, and sometimes take a long time to fix it.


  3. Dave Ashton


    Are you the real news?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG, Ted

    You said the iPhone was cool. Actually you said it was "so f*cking cool".

    Are you trying to give Webster and all the other anti-Apple fanbois a coronary?

    *expecting a commentard backlash against this*

  5. Edwin
    Thumb Up


    I think this is one of the most concise analyses of Apple's iPhone business model to date.

    Sadly, it doesn't pander to my deep need to bash Steve Jobs (hasn't done anything worthwhile since NeXT, etc) or spend time bashing the iPhone's ((in)significant) shortcomings, but rumour has it that that's what good journalism is all about.

    Well done!

  6. Simon Painter

    Customers? Like fcuking lice...

    When will the general public learn that big business does not care about you. This is not just limited to Apple or even IT as a whole it's a global thing where the big businesses are only going to play nice if there is money to be made or government regulation to force it. Organising a resistance to this sort of thing is only going to happen if people co-operate but we are generally selfish creatures so that does not happen on the scale necessary.

    Petrol is an example of this... prices went up and we could have exercised co-ordinated buying power to force petrol prices down but it's all too much hassle. In the end it took a supermarket wishing to increase their revenue further to bring on the price war that is holding prices lower at the moment. Once the price war is over we will go back to paying 20p a litre more for our already expensive petrol.

    It's also why the government takes the piss... it knows that we won't bother doing anything about it. They could introduce a law stating that we had to wear sack cloth on fridays and we would all comply because we assume everyone else is doing it and not want to stick out.

    That's why most companies outsourced customer care to india... they care very little for it and want it handled by the cheapest possible people. They give them very limited mandates so all the customer can do is shout and scream at a dollar a day monkey who can't do anything about it and does not give a toss anyway.

  7. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Up

    Win and you

    Yup, good article; much better than the previous fail.

    /me wants to be a boss now specifically so I can tell someone "Back to work, cockbite."

  8. Rob

    Dominant in which market exactly?

    "The iPhone and the Blackberry are still the dominant market players"

    Could you define "market" here? Ahh, is it the famous "Blackberry and iPhone market?" (one containing 2 radically different devices, let's forget about all those other weird devices out there that make up the vast majority of sales in any other "market" you care to define)

    Or perhaps you mean "dominant" in terms of "amount of hype"? If so I apologise. It is your right to perpetuate said hype with statements like this.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I wish to complain

    There is nothing in this article I can complain about. Where's the fun in that? :oP

  10. Mark

    re: As Napoleon once said...

    a) When CAN you posit malice as the reason? You don't find anyone giving an evil laught or evil monologue IRL, so you'll NEVER know when malice is meant. The only one who MAY know that is the one you're accusing. So, please, tell me when malice CAN be used as an explanation.

    b) If it's malice then this can be fixed. If it's incompetence, it's no better and may not be fixable. If you get your bollocks shot off by accident, it doesn't hurt any less than if they were done deliberately. They don't grow back if it was incompetence that did it. And if it was malice, you may be able to stop it happening. Shooting the shit out of an incompetent boob with a gun can land you in much trouble.

    c) the end result is the same, so why make the distinction?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Of course users don't care!

    They're users, and how hard it is to develop for their platform doesn't matter to them, unless it's so hard that there's very few apps, and we can't say that about the Apple store, can we? If development difficulties & NDAs matter to you, then by definition you're a developer and not a user.

    Anyway, I'm in a large tech company, and it's interesting to see that I only know one person with a jesusphone in my rather large group. I'd expect more, if only for the "new tech" factor. I also didn't expect the "meh" attitude to it, either.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Was that even an article?

    Was there any information in there? This was less an article then it was loose ramblings on *NOT* why Apple changed their NDA. If you hadn't rambled on about your own musings (ah egos) there would only be two small paragraphs here.

    I know what it was. You had gone several articles without a story on the iPhone and you seem to have a quota that every 5th story needs to be about the iPhone. Bravo.

  13. Ian Ferguson
    Jobs Halo

    The PR move

    Good insight, but I think you've overlooked a major reason for Apple discarding the NDA - PR. Look how much coverage they've got for something that's no skin off their back; and they get to look like the good guys too.

    It's just like when Steve Jobs stated that he 'hates DRM' - of course he doesn't hate it really, he makes fuckloads of money out of it. But because he's said that, all the freetard fanboys are slathering over him, because he's one of the good guys.

    Personally, I'm glad they've discarded the NDA and it is to my benefit - I'm trying to learn to write iPhone apps in my spare time, and it is unrelated to my main work, so any documentation will be useful. (I'm not buying books though - what do the authors think it is, 1998?). However, I know for sure that people like me are not why Apple got rid of the NDA - they couldn't give a flying shit out of independent programmers, and Google won't do either; their potential revenue out of me will probably be nothing more than 50p a program for a couple of thousand sales. Quick bucks for me; a drop in the ocean for them.

    Sorry, I should have kept in the spirit of the article; a drop in the ocean OF PISS... :)

  14. E



    Q: Cut open the corrupt heart of a corporation and what spills out?

    A: People.

  15. Brett Weaver
    Thumb Up

    @Mark & Napoleon

    Incompetence and malevolence are both morally the same and so distinguishing is probably valueless.

    Everyone makes occasional mistakes. That is not incompetence but a hazard of life.

    Those that fail to acknowledge the mistake repeat it. That is incompetence. Lying to oneself is as morally reprehensible and probably more dangerous than lying to others.

  16. jake Silver badge


    "Steve Jobs's sparsely worded slide presentations make him seem like kind of a prick."

    Speaking as someone who knows him personally[1], he IS a bit of a prick. His business savy is excellent, his personal reality distortion field is stronger than anyone else's on the planet, he's a marketing guy's marketing guy, he's a real tech in the old-school way, and he's a damn good manager. But his social skills can leave a lot to be desired occasionally.

    We got along fairly well ... Maybe because I'm a bit of a prick, too ... Last time I saw him on the street, he actually recognized me, even though it had been 20 years or so since we had last spoken. (Was late 1999 in downtown Palo Alto, I was coming out of the CO on Bryant Street ... if you're reading this, "Hi, Steve ... when was the last time you Vickied someone?")

    [1] Or knew him, rather ... I first met him before Apple existed, and rubbed shoulders with him on a fairly regular basis at meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club at SLAC in the mid 70s. I don't claim to be a friend, just a casual acquaintance.

  17. prathlev

    Re: As Napoleon once said...

    Never attribute to Napoleon that which is elsewhere attributed to so many other people. ;-)

    @Mark: I think many modern legal systems actually consider intent significant. The fact that the victim sometimes can't tell the difference is moot. There's a big difference between someone accidentally spilling a glass of beer all over you and someone intentionally spilling a glass of beer all over you. (E.g.: the latter might not buy you one to make it up...)

  18. Kevin

    Ted's Credentials

    Shouldn't that be founder and **EX** CTO of

  19. Jeff F.
    Jobs Horns

    Well done!

    I do care about openness, I think its up to us to try to make the low intellects that make up the base of the consumer base start to care too! More publicity about closed environments would help eliminate this terrible business practice

  20. Mark


    Aye, but accidental death can still see you in jail. Driving without due care and attention will still see you grabbed by the rozzers in an accident.

    Hell, an accident will still see you accused of a crime.

    The only difference being how long and how harsh a punishment you will get over "deliberate" acts. It doesn't give you a bye.

  21. Joe Cooper


    Great article! Certainly kicks your last one's ass.

  22. Michael

    more stupid people...

    "You had gone several articles without a story on the iPhone and you seem to have a quota that every 5th story needs to be about the iPhone. Bravo."

    Thus spake the Anonymous Coward.

    Seriously folks, if you're going to try to berate the author (emphasis on "try"), have the balls to attach your name to it, ffs.

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