The iPhone Upgrade Program relies on Citizens Bank, as noted by AppleInsider in September. The Citizens Bank makes at least some credit checks with Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting bureaus in the U.S. Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable data of up to 143 million U.S. consumers were exposed in an unusual hack of Equifax earlier in 2017, provoking a wave of voluntary credit freezes.
The said problem, of course, is not unique to Apple, nor is it unique to the iPhone X. Because the credit partner of Apple, Citizens Bank is used for other purchases, it has also affected the order of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus since they went on sale in September.
Carrier instalment plans were also said to have been hit by credit freezes, as users on Twitter stated that programs like Next & AT&T were held up in the preorder process.
In the wake of the hack, many consumers decided to freeze their credit not only at Equifax but also with TransUnion and Experian. Those who did so would have been stopped.
Thankfully, for people who plan for such purchases, the process of thawing credit temporarily with the three bureaus is reasonably easy with a secure PIN number. In the future, consumers that are considering making any loan-related purchase or application should remember to thaw their credit before the purchase.