DOZENS of high-priced listings for iPhones with banned video game Fortnite are turning up on eBay.
Many of the listings cost thousands of pounds – with the highest coming in at $10,000.
It follows last week’s shock Fortnite ban by Apple and Google, which saw the game removed from sale on the iPhone’s App Store and Android’s Play Store.
This means that it’s impossible to download Fortnite through those app stores.
However, handsets with Fortnite still installed are being sold for thousands of pounds online.
Most of the listings fall somewhere between $2,000 and $7,000.
That’s far above the typical price of a used iPhone, which could range from just a few hundred pounds to slightly north of $1,000, depending on the model.
It seems few “Fortnite handsets” are actually selling at these vastly inflated prices.
But The Sun has seen a “completed listing” – which means the product has sold and shipped – for $3,800 in the US.
Selling a handset with Fortnite installed might seem like a good idea, but it’s actually very risky.
For Fornite to remain on the iPhone, you’ll need to stay logged in to your account.
That means whoever you sell the iPhone to will have access to your account, files and more.
Buying a handset with Fortnite installed is similarly dangerous.
A seller could log you out of their account at a later date, removing your access to the game – effectively making your purchase redundant.
Apple and Google banned Fortnite from their app stores last week.
Fortnite developer Epic Games is suing the companies over the restrictions, which were issued after Epic violated in-app payment guidelines.
Apple and Google cited a direct payment feature rolled out on the Fortnite app on Thursday as the violation.
Previously, Epic used in-app payment systems that gave Google and Apple a large share of any funds generated from player purchases.
Epic sued in US court seeking no money from Apple or Google, but rather injunctions that would end many of the companies’ app store practices.
The California firms have come under fire in recent years for operating alleged “monopolies” in which they stifle competition and take colossal cuts on sales made through their app stores.
“Apple has become what it once railed against: The behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation,” Epic said in its lawsuit against Apple, filed in the Northern District of California.
“Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear.”
In a separate lawsuit against Google, Epic referenced the company’s now-infamous mantra, “Don’t Be Evil”.
“Twenty-two years later, Google has relegated its motto to nearly an afterthought.”
Epic also attacked Apple on social media, launching a campaign with the hashtag #FreeFortnite.
The company urged players to seek refunds from Apple if they lost access to the game, and created a parody of Apple’s famous “1984” television ad.
In the parody, which quickly garnered hundreds of thousands of views, a female Fortnite fighter hurls a unicorn-shaped club to smash a screen on which an Apple-headed character speaks of “the anniversary of the platform unification directives.”
Apple takes a cut of between 15 and 30 per cent for most app subscriptions and payments made inside apps.
There are some exceptions for companies that already have a credit card on file for iPhone customers if they also offer an in-app payment that would benefit Apple.
Analysts believe games are the biggest contributor to spending inside the App Store, which is in turn the largest component of Apple’s $46billion-per-year (£35billion) services segment.
In a statement, Apple said Fortnite was removed because Epic had launched the payment feature with the “express intent of violating the App Store guidelines” after having had apps in the store for a decade.
“The fact that their (Epic) business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users,” Apple said.
Google also removed Fortnite from its Play Store, but the company’s spokesman Dan Jackson declined to comment on the lawsuit when contacted by Reuters.
“However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play,” he said in a statement.
Jackson said Epic violated a rule requiring developers to use Google’s in-app billing system for products within video games.
In other news, a Mum was left devastated after her Fortnite addict son splashed $20,000 on Twitch live-streamers.
Samsung’s new Note 20 smartphone comes with Xbox games as part of its bid to topple Apple’s iPhone.
Microsoft will launch a second new console later this year dubbed the Xbox Series S, photos leaked online suggest.
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