iPhones with 'Fortnite' installed are being sold for as much as $10,000 after Apple pulled the game from the App Store

  • Last week, the wildly popular game "Fortnite" got an update on Apple and Android smartphones that allowed players to bypass the companies' digital payment systems. Payments went directly to the "Fortnite" studio, Epic Games, instead of Apple and Google. 
  • In response, Apple and Google pulled "Fortnite" from their digital storefronts and cited the update as a terms-of-service violation. Epic Games sued both companies shortly thereafter for what it says is anticompetitive behavior.
  • If you already had "Fortnite" on your iPhone, Apple has no way of removing it — and some iPhone owners with "Fortnite" have taken to eBay with their phones, with listings as high as $10,000.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

If you were one of the millions of people who downloaded "Fortnite" before it was pulled from Apple's App Store last week, then you've still got it — Apple can't remove the game from your iPhone. But if you didn't, perhaps you'd be willing to pay as much as $10,000 for an iPhone with the game pre-installed?

That's what re-sellers on eBay are hoping.

A search of eBay's US store on Wednesday, with the search term, "iphone fortnite installed," yielded over 100 listings of re-sellers with various iPhone models. A search for "fortnite iphone" turns up even more.

The $10,000 option above, for instance, comes with the game pre-installed on 2017's iPhone X model. 

Notably, "Fortnite" is a free-to-play game that's available on nearly every game platform. Moreover, the game can be played across competing game platforms — whether you're playing on Nintendo Switch, iPhone, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Android, or Mac, you can play with other "Fortnite" players. 

In short, if you were looking for a way to play "Fortnite" other than your iPhone, there are a lot of options. Given that, and the high prices attached to many of the eBay listings, it's no surprise that most have zero bids.   

Though "Fortnite" was pulled from Apple's App Store last week, it's unlikely to stay pulled forever — it's one of the world's most popular games, and Apple has repeatedly said it wants to put the game back.

"We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store," Apple said in a statement this week. "The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers."

"Fortnite" was pulled from Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store late last week following an update issued by Epic that allowed users to bypass Apple and Google's digital payment systems. Instead of buying in-game virtual money ("V-bucks") through Apple or Google, players could buy them directly from Epic — at a 30% discount, no less.

In response, the two main smartphone conglomerates pulled "Fortnite" from their respective digital storefronts. Epic Games, anticipating as much, filed suits against each company.

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ([email protected]), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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