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Elite iPad developers get iPads to test on, are sequestered in rooms with blacked out windows

Businessweek reports today that an elite group of developers have received iPads to test their applications on, however, these iPads must be kept tethered to a fixed object and in rooms with blacked-out windows.

Would-be testers of the tablet-style computer, due to be released Apr. 3, must promise to keep it 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 people, 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.

Our immediate reaction to this is: What does Apple want to hide at this point?  Haven’t we seen the iPad in its final form from a hardware perspective?  From a software perspective, what is so interesting that they need developers to hide it?  This level of secrecy on something already announced piques our interest.

The WSJ is one of the companies who has the iPad under lock and key as outed by Rupert Murdoch himself…among other things, though they’d be an unlikely source for a Bloomberg leak.

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