Why some iPhone 5S’ are selling for tens of thousands of dollars

Can  you sell an iPhone with games installed? The short answer is no- but it’s interesting to learn about the attempts people have made in the past. 

Flappy Birds, an arcade-style game which was first released in 2013, hooked thousands of players because of its nostalgic feel and simple objective. Once creator Dong Nguyen pulled it from app stores less than one year later, many people had the idea to sell their devices with the game still installed. 

According to an article by The Guardian, people flocked to eBay to sell their Flappy Bird-exclusive devices for ridiculous prices. An iPhone 5s with Flappy Birds installed is noted to be the most expensive sold, selling for $10,100. 

EBay once had to cancel a $99,990 auction. Vasil Kaniv, the seller of the 5S,  told the LA Times that EBay took his auction down after he was informed phones with apps aren’t allowed to be sold. He argues that every iPhone has apps, so the marketplace’s statement isn’t completely true.

As of November 2020, there are still iPhones with Flappy Birds installed going for sale. The highest price listed is at $5,000, but don’t worry- there’s free shipping. 

Since Flappy Bird’s extinction, several games with the same objectives have been released. If you are still looking for a fix years later, check these games out in your app store:

  • Faby Bird: The Flappy Adventure 
  • Tappy Bird 
  • Flap Birdie Free
  • Flap Impossible- Cave Flight 
  • FlapTap Jo
  • Flying Birdy
  • Flappy Birdie

Throughout the years, hundreds of renditions of the game have been released. You’ll pretty much have luck if you type in something along the lines of “Flappy,” “Tappy” or “Birdy.” This games are developed to be addictive, stressful, and can cause you to throw your phone in a fit of rage, resulting in the need for you to search for an iPhone repair company to fix it.

History has repeated itself, as iPhone X’s  installed with Fortnite are listed on EBay for up to $10,000. 

In August, the game got an update on Apple and Android smartphones that allowed players to avoid making payments directly to the phone companies. Instead, payments went directly to Epic Games, the Fortnite studio rather than Apple and Google. 

Since then, Apple and Google have pulled the game from their stores, being that the update violated their terms and services. 

Apple has no way of removing the app from someone’s phone if it has already been installed, which is why people have taken to storefronts like EBay to sell their device for thousands. 

Currently, the priciest phone offer is a Fortnite-installed  iPhone 11 Pro for $15,000.  

Fortnite is available to play on other devices such as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC, unlike Flappy Birds. 

If you still insist on playing the game on your smartphone, or something close to it, check these games out:

  • Creative Destruction 
  • Battle Destruction 
  • Rocket Royale 

Needless to say, this is not the best way to go about selling or buying your phone. Holding on to an older model of a phone for the sole purpose of playing a game that can be accessed on other devices is not worth it. 

How to prepare your iPhone for sale

If you are still preparing to sell your iPhone, here’s advice to ensure that it is done in most efficient and safe way possible:

  • Back up your data– make sure you’ve backed up your phone so you don’t lose data, such as contacts, notes, dates and passwords. Certain games’ data can also be backed up. 
  • Say bye to your games and erase your data– Once backed up, erase all of your data. For iPhones, go to Settings>General> Reset and select “Erase All Content and Settings.” The original screen from when you purchased the phone should appear. 
  • Remove your Sim Card– Removing your old sim card ensures that all of your data is no longer on the device. 
  • Make your device look as good as new: The final steps to prepare your device for sale is cleaning it and including its original accessories, such as the charging cable, headphones and packaging.