If you are using the Modern Objective-C Runtime (that's either iOS 3.x or greater, or 64-bit Snow Leopard or greater) then you do not need to define ivars for your properties in cases like this.

When you @synthesize the property, the ivar will in effect be synthesized also for you. This gets around the "fragile-ivar" scenario. You can read more about it on Cocoa with Love