Apple plans to deliver special iPhones to security researchers next year to help them find security flaws in iOS. The devices will be made available to researchers who report errors through the company's only error-inviting program for iOS. Apple first launched this bug bounty program three years ago at the Black Hat conference, and is now expanding its use at the same conference today to cover macOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV and more.
Apple's iOS Security Research Device program will be available to researchers with a high-quality security research track record on any platform, so not all ordinary developers will be able to access these devices. The handsets come with ssh, a root shell and advanced debugging features, all designed to make it easier for security researchers to detect bugs.
Although these special iPhone devs will be more open to security researchers, they will not have the deep level of access that internal Apple developers and the company's security team have.