Is it possible your friend took on a Citizen's One loan instead of his Apple Card ?
It's easy to get the many different ways you can finance an Apple product:
Apple Rewards (no longer available).
When you open a new account, a HP is incurred.
I know - I had all 3 finance options at one time (different devices).
Yeah this sounds more likely to me.
Did your friend enroll in the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program (iUP) ??
If so, getting a new iPhone under that "lease" program where you can upgrade every year and turn in your old phone - will definitely trigger a HP as it also is under Citizen's One IUP program.
Citizen's One does both finance w/0% for 24 months to own and iUP - so if you enroll in both you will incur 2 HPs.
I have not spoken to my friend since I posted what he told me, but he did say that he was using the moble walet and hard pulls showed up couple of days later, I am going to ask is he confused may be it soft pull not a hard pull.
I just spoke to my friend, and he told me that credit Karma shows Inquiry couple of days later and it was from GS bank and that happen after he took a 6 months plan from Apple. He is going to call GS and ask them to remove the IQ from his report it is showing up on his Transunion report.