In July 2020 Apple introduced a new program that will help researchers understand the workings of an iPhone in a security point of view. Titled ‘Apple Security Research Device Program‘, a selected few will be given special iPhones with containment policies and unique code execution to support security research.
Today, the first individuals have been notified that they will be receiving the special iPhones. As stated in the agreement the researchers will be loaned the iPhone for a whole year with a mission to improve iOS security.
Apple believes this move will assist the company in its goal to increase consumer safety. Furthermore, Apple says they value collaborations with independent researchers and the work they do.
The special iPhones are different from consumer-level iPhones. The devices are less locked down to make it easier to find security vulnerabilities although they have modern hardware and the latest iOS. Jailbreaking is not necessary and diagnostic tools are welcomed for OS testing purposes.