Exciting opportunity! It’ll be interesting to see how limited it is though. I could absolutely use one of these for my research to verify things that I currently just have to tease out of Apple’s vague documentation, but it’s not like I’d be dropping jailbreaks left and right if I had one.
I might be a bit jaded in this answer, but the terms and conditions make me think that Apple is getting increasingly concerned with how prevalent attacks on their OS (https://www.wired.com/story/android-zero-day-more-than-ios-zerodium/) have become and are trying to get some of the benefits of Open Source (lots of eyes on the problem) while also using their traditional tactics (legal implications for not coming forward with all those jailbreaks you’re dropping).
Opening up the platform a bit, within the constraints of the legal paperwork you’ll be signing, seems to be a decent compromise from their view. It will be interesting to see if many of the people responsible for Apple taking this step bother to sign up and bind themselves to it.
The whole “must remain on the premises of program participants at all times” is interesting. “Is you security research device secured” :)