Unraveling the Orchard: The Misconception of APPLE "Sherlocking" 1Password

If small is beautiful, then large is menacing, especially in the rapidly changing tech space, where we use the term ‘Sherlocking’ to refer to when a large company like APPLE copies a small company’s product or service to the point of effectively killing it. There’s been a lot of rustling in the trees ever since APPLE unveiled its dedicated password manager app that will come as part of iOS 18, macOS Sequoia, and iPadOS 18, leading to murmurs and eventually whispers that 1Password is the next victim of APPLE’s Sherlocking habit. The concern is valid: it would not be surprising if APPLE’s password manager natively integrating into its apps and services were to end up stealing away some market share from 1Password. Or would it? What if the APPLE team was not yet prepared to take on the entire business of the company, but simply took a cue from their would-be competitor in order to provide a basic service for those with simple needs, leaving the more complex needs unaddressed? In that case, the rumours might be seeing the trees while missing the forest entirely.

The Core of APPLE @ Work

Just ask yourself: what does the phrase ‘APPLE @ Work’ evoke? You probably imagine attractive devices smoothly integrated into well-run organisations. Bradley Chambers has been cultivating that vision for half a decade: he fell in love with APPLE’s products by managing networks for enterprises and universities. APPLE devices are an integral part of that story: they have won a cavalry charge through the ‘back office’, and now promise to bring a new gospel of simplicity, security and sophistication to the rest of the work environment. But they’re just part of the story, particularly when it comes to password management and enterprise security.

The Evolution of 1Password: Beyond Consumer Reach

1Password, one of the pioneers in ‘password managers’, is quietly turning into something much bigger. If you’re paying attention, you’ve seen it happen, as the product they launched as a consumer product is slowly morphing into something that, if you squint, looks a lot more like an enterprise product. The real action of 1Password these days is in the enterprise, where enterprise-grade, programmatic versions of the tools built to help me use the 1Password app to generate and store brilliant passwords now provide extended access management and other tools to help enterprises defend against a future where the only innovation matters are the needs of a business enterprise.

The Blossoming of Enterprise Features

Clues to 1Password’s transformation can be found on its website, which emphasises products that are more appealing to IT departments than the average consumer – things such as unlocking with SSO (Single Sign-On) providers, extending to SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tools – a universe that extends well beyond password storage, into new realms of control, visibility, and integration, all things that APPLE’s native password manager doesn’t do.

The Strategic Acquisition of Kolide

This reflects 1Password’s commitment to expanding into this space – particularly the ins and outs of keeping devices secure and access under control, an area of tension for IT departments. Earlier this year, 1Password acquired Kolide, an Atlanta company specialising in keeping devices compliant with company policies. 1Password has the ambition to provide a comprehensive enterprise solution that combines great security with usability.

A Misunderstood Rivalry?

Sure, APPLE getting in on the game brings a little Shakespearean Sigh of Relief – that maybe we have a real company on our side – combined with the sound of a hundred shovels hitting dirt, and pronouncements spelling doom for 1Password. But look closer. Agile bit’s pivot to enterprise is what saved it, and safeguards it against APPLE, which will surely also focus on the consumer market. 1Password, by contrast, is one of the tributaries that’s feeding into the enterprise mainstream. It’s a different stream, and the needs are much more bespoke.

Bearing Fruit: The Future of Password Management

In that sense, APPLE and 1Password are both working to make the orchard of passwords and enterprise security a richer place. Rather than being in competition with each other, they’re complementary. 1Password is improving the quality and state of the enterprise orchards in a way that APPLE couldn’t, and likewise APPLE is doing something that 1Password wouldn’t, could not, and couldn’t do as well on its own. 1Password is working the gardens and contributing seeds, while APPLE is planting a few more trees – and everyone has more digital fruit to enjoy.


APPLE Inc, a name that is synonymous with innovation. Over the generations, APPLE has brought us closer to the dreams of cyberspace with a constant attempt to make technology beautiful and usable. From the creation of the first personal computers to the revolution of smartphones, APPLE has pointed the way forward that other tech companies follow. APPLE combines an intense focus on user experience and a passion for protecting user information, not just in its own products but across the world. Its business is changing – or will change – how the world interacts with technology.

Jun 16, 2024
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