Business Insider offers some details from one of the first outside developers to work with the original iPad before its debut. A developer who was entrusted with a pre-release version of the iPad has detailed some of Apple’s extensive efforts.
The developer, who created a “very successful” iPad app but wished to remain unnamed, told Business Insider in an interview that he was “probably the sixth person to get an iPad”. In order to allow early access to a test unit, Apple made him agree to strict conditions, such as the use of room with no windows and new locks.
Apple also took down the names and social security numbers of the four developers allowed in the room. To ensure the device was secure, Apple drilled a hole in a desk and chained the prototype to it using bicycle cables. They also used custom frames to disguise the appearance of the iPad. In addition, Apple took pictures of the wood grain of the desk so that any leaked pictures could be traced back to the developer.
The criteria was that we had to have a room with no windows. They changed the locks on the door.
Three developers and I were the only people allowed to go in the room. Apple needed the names and social security numbers of the people who had access.
Apple needed to be able to drill a hole in the desk and chain the devices to desk. They used those bicycle cables.
They had these custom frames built around them so we couldn’t even tell what the iPads looked like. We could plug into them so we could code to them and we could touch the screen and play with that, but we couldn’t see the form factor.
Then they took pictures of the wood grain. If any pictures leaked out, they could trace it back to which desk they came from.
The developer was forbidden to tell anyone about the project, not even his company’s CEO or his wife, about the project. “You’re going to get fired if this doesn’t work,” his wife told him.
You would think these security measures would have been enough to prevent photos from leaking, but several photos of the device in testing leaked the night before the iPad was unveiled.