I used Apple Card on both iUP and a sim-free model and went pretty seamless. While for iUP didn't have the option to do the Apple Pay but during the pre-approval process I had to enter the card number manually.
Not OP but it seems conceivable that Apple could make the card almost like status with the airlines. If you pay with the Apple Card, you get 'priority ordering' and jump ahead of non-Apple-Card orders. So maybe you could order any time during launch day instead of waking up at an odd hour. Like the airline, you could 'bump' someone from a seat(phone) based on your status.
There would be a lot of reasons not to do it (see how much hate regular people have for the airlines) but it's conceivably possible.
I ordered two phones (Friday morning) and the charge showed up right away as pending which is what I would expect.
Today (Sunday) there is now a second pending charge which amounts to a $1299 phone plus tax showing on my card.
The first charge is still showing pending. Contacted Goldman Sachs and the rep said he has been seeing this quite often with multiple pending charges that haven’t been placed as additional orders. Since everything is pending, nothing can be disputed.
When I signed up it was quite a mess getting a physical card sent. The system on their end showed that I had ordered a card but there was no tracking number. They cancelled that card and sent me a new one, which arrived and everything seemed great. Now, weeks later I get another email from Apple saying my physical Apple Card is on the way and it appears to be scheduled for my home address for delivery tomorrow.
When I got the Apple Card I choose the option to ‘use for Apple purchases’ which also seems to mean it updates the card on file at Citizens. Which is nice because the login there is a mess, last time I tried it (password requirements are broken, needed to make a crappy password manually, don’t know if that’s changed...).
So, now all IUP charges are on the Apple Card automatically, which is nice.