Apple Allowing Early iPad Access to Key Developers, Keeping Units Under Lock and Key

BusinessWeek is reporting that select developers have been provided access to the iPad ahead of its official April 3rd launch, allowing for chances to build and test their application directly on the device rather than having to rely on simulator tools built into the Software Development Kit offered by Apple as part of its developer program for the platform.

This level of access apparently comes at a steep price and developers are obligated to sign a 10-page confidentiality agreement requiring them to utilize a number of security measures to prevent unauthorized access to or removal of the iPad in their possession.

The testers are also required to keep the iPad isolated in a room with blacked-out windows, according to four people familiar with the more than 10-page pact that bars partners from disclosing information about the iPad.

To ensure that it can’t be removed, the iPad must also remain tethered to a fixed object, said the sources, who asked not to be named because their plans for the iPad have not been made public. Apple won’t send out an iPad until potential partners send photographic evidence that they’ve complied.

Apple has reportedly routinely utilized such measures in its own labs as it works to maintain as much secrecy as possible surrounding upcoming products.

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