Buying An iPhone With Fortnite Installed Is A Spectacularly Dumb Idea – Forbes

Ever since Epic Games and Apple had their high-profile fallout, enterprising eBay sellers have been offering iPhone handsets with Fortnite already installed. If you’ve even given a second’s thought to buying one of these vastly overpriced handsets to feed a Fortnite fix, I have one word of advice: don’t.

An eBay search for “iPhone Fortnite” brings up dozens of listings for iPhones that have Fortnite preloaded on a second-hand device, many of them asking for four-figure sums. This seller, for example, is selling an iPhone 11 with Fortnite installed, with a starting price of $1,800 and the option to “buy now” for a dollar short of $4,000. Do not form an orderly queue.

Even if you’re not tempted to pay five or six times the face value of the device for the pleasure of having Fortnite installed, but can find a listing at a more reasonable price, buying a second-hand device with the game pre-loaded is a fool’s errand, for the following reasons:

  • Fortnite is still playable on iPhones (and Android handsets for that matter). At the time of writing, neither Apple nor Google have gone as far as actually removing the game from people’s devices – they’ve simply stopped listing it in their stores, meaning you can’t download it if it’s not currently on your phone or tablet. If you already have Fortnite on your device, you can still play the game and still download updates. That situation may change in the future, but if it does, it will affect the handset you’ve bought off eBay (or elsewhere) too.
  • You will have to use the seller’s Apple account. If you buy a handset with Fortnite preloaded, the only way to keep the game on that phone is to continue using whatever Apple account the seller has set up. The moment you switch to your own Apple account, all apps will be wiped and you’ll be back to square one. Assuming the seller is even willing to hand over their Apple account and password (a big assumption), do you really want to take the security risk of having your credit card details assigned to an account set up by a complete stranger? Let me answer that for you: no, you do not.
  • You don’t know what else is on the device. Let’s assume you are happy to take the risk of using someone else’s account on a handset just so you (or a pestering offspring) can play Fortnite – beware it might not only be Fortnite that comes pre-loaded on the device. Although Apple does have reasonably tight controls on iOS devices, it’s possible that the device could have other malicious apps installed that are stealing your data or credit card details.
  • There are plenty of other ways to play Fortnite. Even if you (or said offspring) have removed Fortnite from your phone and can’t get it back, there are plenty of other ways to play the game, all of which will be cheaper than paying an eBay seller a stupid fee for a pre-loaded iPhone. Fortnite is still officially available on Windows, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch. Given we’re on the cusp of new Xbox/PlayStation releases, you can pick up a new console for less than $200 and the game is free. The sheer economics of paying a four-figure sum for a Fortnite phone are ridiculous, before you even consider the immense security risks.

In short, please do not buy one of these Fortnite-loaded iPhones. You will be shooting yourself in the foot before you get the chance to shoot others in the game.

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