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The iPhone may also be used as a mallet.

The iPhone costs $17,000! It's true! Someone said so!

To beat you over the head with a completely unrelated point.

On the previous post, clever commenter kcedit found this pearl of wisdom from Brett Arends:

The True Cost of an iPhone? Try $17,670. (there's no cached version yet).

Wow! Did the Macalope miss some kind of fine print in the contract?

Well, no. Turns out what Arends is talking about is opportunity cost. Instead of taking the $2,039 cost of the iPhone and two years of contract with AT&T, you could invest it in a bunch of penny stocks and hope that one of them...

No, wait, that's not what he said. He said you could take it to the casino and put it all on red and...

No, that's not it either.

OK, what he really said was that you could take the $2,720 pre-tax equivalent and invest it in your 401k which will net you $17,670 in 35 years, assuming you have a 401k and assuming you don't already have a cell phone or plan (otherwise you're not actually saving $2,720 by not buying an iPhone) and assuming you're 30 and assuming you're wound so tight that you've decided not to have any fun whatsoever in the hope that you'll live long enough enjoy yourself at age 65 (which is iffy, since we've already established that you're wound really tight).

If you do live that long, though, you'll have enough money to kick off your retirement by buying yourself something nice.

Like an iPhone.

Which will probably cost something like, well, $17,670 by then.

Hmm. Boy, that seems like a pointless exercise.

OK, really, isn't it true about anything you buy that if you saved the money instead you'd have more money later? Like your HDTV and even those ramen noodles you subsist on?

This isn't really about the iPhone. It's just about shopping ...

Oh! It's about shopping! Oh! Wow, well, now why the heck did the furry one ever think that it was about the iPhone?!

Maybe it was the title. And all the references to the iPhone.

That might have been it.