eBay sellers list iPhones with Fortnite for thousands amid developer row

Opportunistic eBay sellers have listed iPhone handsets with Fortnite installed for thousands of pounds after the popular game was removed from the iOS app store.

It comes amid a dramatic escalation of developer versus the tech giants, over the fee charged to be on Apple and Google’s app stores.

Rules say purchases of digital items within an app must be done through Apple or Google’s respective payment system, from which the companies take a cut of up to 30%.

But Fortnite was removed from both stores after an option was added which allowed users to pay Epic directly for in-app purchases.

Apple devices with Fortnite installed before the ban will not receive updates, but they can still be accessed and played, leading to some owners putting their phones up for sale.

One pre-owned iPhone XS is currently listed for £3,000 with Fortnite “downloaded and working”.

Apple has said it “won’t make an exception” for Fortnite, threatening to revoke Epic’s membership of the Apple Developer Programme.

In a statement on Tuesday, the firm said it wanted to keep Epic Games in the programme and the problem could be resolved if Fortnite was updated in line with Apple’s rules.

The Fortnite maker has launched lawsuits against Apple and Google in the US over the matter.