Published February 13, 2014
With "Flappy Bird" now officially off the market, game addicts everywhere are huddled in the corner, shaking from withdrawal.
Not really, but smartphones offering the recently deleted app are selling on eBay (EBAY) like hotcakes, some for tens of thousands of dollars.
The highest bid for a phone offering "Flappy Bird" most recently sat at $14,900. A Sprint (S) iPhone 5 16GB reached that level after 26 bids and still has eight hours left on the auction. An iPhone 5s simply advertised as “Flappy installed bird,” sits at $8,100 with five bids.
The “buy it now” options on eBay are even more exorbitant. One white iPhone 5c has a “buy it now” option of $40,000, while several iPhone 5s devices can be bought right now for $20,000.
The sheer magnitude of Apple (AAPL) iPhones and Samsung Galaxys being offered at extreme premiums illustrates just how powerfully developer Dong Nguyen’s game took the world by storm during its brief lifetime.
The app was downloaded more than 50 million times since its May 2013 launch. While U.S. downloads didn’t begin until November, download volume in North America jumped 25 times month-over-month in December. By Jan. 13, app downloads were skyrocketing 136% day-over-day.
On Jan. 17, "Flappy Bird" was rated the Top Free App on iOS. It reached that title a few days later on Google Play, just two days after its Android debut.
By Feb. 5, "Flappy Bird" was the top free iPhone app in 107 countries, the top free iPad app in 109 countries and the top free Google Play app in 19 countries. It received more than 48,000 ratings, putting it on par with apps like Google’s (GOOG) Gmail.
Highlighting its success, a single banner on the app cost advertisers a whopping $50,000 a day.
Then, suddenly, as though someone were playing a cruel joke, Nguyen pulled the app.
Within 22 hours of a simple “I cannot take this anymore” Twitter (TWTR) post from Nguyen on Feb. 10, all traces of the app on the Apple and Google stores vanished.
It was that same day that phones started popping up on eBay for $1,000. And today, it’s not uncommon to find one selling for more $5,000.
courtesy of StartApp