A BGR report claims that Apple is planning a partnership and a “potential acquisition” of AgileBits, the company behind 1Password — one of the most, if not the most, popular password managers for iOS and Mac.
The report cites that after months of planning, Apple is planning to deploy 1Password internally across its 100,000 employees, which even includes its retail employees. Apple has managed to negotiate a sweet deal with 1Password that will see the family plan include free licenses for up to 5 family members of an Apple employee.
Around 100 Apple employees are expected to start using 1Password as a part of this deal starting from this week, with the whole 100,000 users expected to make the switch within the next couple of months.
Apple’s deal with AgileBits had very specific requirements keeping its scale, wide user base, and security in mind. Codenamed B2, the deal included a maximum of 4-hour response time for customer support for Apple employees, ensuring that support documents are available in all major international languages and more. Since AgileBits was not prepared to handle such an influx of users, it has used a third-party call management service to provide support to Apple and fulfill the part of the contract.
Apple will be using the standalone version of 1Password which uses iCloud for syncing password across devices and platforms. While the company did consider using a version that relied on Amazon’s AWS for cloud syncing, it quickly decided against it due to security concerns.
The move from Apple to ensure that all its employees use 1Password to store their sensitive login credentials makes a lot of sense. This will help put a plug on leaks and ensure tighter security.
There’s no word on how much Apple has paid AgileBits for this deal. However, once the deal was confirmed, AgileBits has paid six-figures bonuses to its top executives, with every other employee in the company also receiving a bonus.
The article proceeds to then speculate about Apple possibly acquiring AgileBits down the line. It even argues that the current deal from Apple is an indirect acquisition in itself. If Apple does end up acquiring AgileBits, it could replace the Keychain password manager in iOS and Mac with 1Password thereby offering a far greater user experience and security.
Do you use 1Password for storing your passwords and other important notes?
Update: AgileBits has denied reports of Apple acquiring the company.
Rumours of my acquisition are completely false. My humans and I are happily independent and plan to remain so.
— 1Password (@1Password) July 10, 2018