Steve Jobs has banned Apple employees from adding their credits to software applications, documentation and other products.

The move marks the end of a long tradition begun by the first Macintosh design team, who etched their names onto the casing of early Mac models.

The story was broken by MacWeek, which quotes from a memo sent by Jobs to product technicians.

The memo said: "A few thousand people contribute to a handful of hardware and software products each year, so an accurate listing of credits for each product would be quite long.This new policy recognizes that our products are created by many individuals working together, and allows us all to take equal pride in the work coming from Apple."

However, some industry experts believe that the move is because the named staff are targets for other high-tech companies wishing to poach staff from Apple, and that the employees are to blame for leaks of confidential information.

Apple refused to comment.