WTF?! Care to guess the lastest thing to come out of the Fortnite war between Apple and Epic Games? Courts granting injunctive relief? No. Epic withdrawing its lawsuit and complying with App Store rules? Nope.
The latest in Epic’s epic struggle against App Store tyranny is $10,000 iPhones with Fortnite preinstalled. You read that right. Pop over to eBay and search “fortnite iphone.” You will find well over a hundred listings asking thousands of dollars for used iPhones with Fortnite installed. Some are going for as low as $450, but most are over $1,000, with at least one owner starting bidding at $10,000 on a three-year-old iPhone X!
“Mint condition IPhone [sic] X with Fortnite installed. Fortnite is now gone from the App Store and may never return,” the seller’s melodramatic description reads.
Unsurprisingly, almost all of the listings have zero bids, but we did find an iPhone 8 with a single offer of $1,000 or “buy it now for $3,000.” What a bargain! The lack of people fighting over the devices indicates that consumers are confident that the free-to-play game will be back on the App Store in due time. Indeed, the chances of the Fortnite ban being permanent are pretty slim.
Earlier this week, when Apple threatened to terminate all Epic’s app developer accounts, the Cupertino junkyard dog said it wants Fortnite back, but only under certain conditions.
“We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store,” Apple said. “The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can be easily 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.”
No matter how the fight goes, Fortnite will most likely be back on Apple devices eventually in one of three ways. The first is Epic will give up and remove the option to pay outside of Cupertino’s walled garden. The second is a judge will rule that the iPhone maker’s move is a violation of antitrust laws and issue an injunction against the ban. The third is that the court will decide that Apple was within its rights. In that case, Epic will have no choice but to capitulate if it wants back in a market that has nearly a billion active devices.
Unless the mess goes completely awry, eBay users should not hold their breath on getting thousands of dollars for their Fortnite phones, but who knows? As they say, “A sucker is born every minute.”