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Who are you gonna believe? Todd Sullivan or your lyin' eyes?

Todd Sullivan again. Sorry!

Now, dear readers, you know why the Macalope drinks.

Todd starts by rightly dinging the horny one for failing to note that he did say Jobs did not actually go so far as to literally say iPhonepurchasers were suckers, even though Todd put it in quotes. So the Macalope will agree he shouldn't have bothered making an issue of that particular point.

The rest, however, is like getting sprayed in the face with a bottle full of carbonated stupid.

1st iPhone came out and was priced for purchasers at $499. New iPhone comes out and I can buy it at $199. In Macland this is more expensive...

Here is where he plays with facts. The phone IS $300 cheaper.

You're right, again, Todd. The iPhone 3G is cheaper... assuming you don't want to actually use it. As a paperweight, it is $300 cheaper.

[Commenter colonelpanic points out that Todd is calculating off a different base by going back to the iPhone's original price, so his number don't jibe with Gizmodo's or the Macalope's. Some of this may be confusion over the Macalope's use of "original iPhone" to mean the original hardware at the May 2008 price. The Macalope has already conceded that the price drop from the iPhone's launch price to the price as of three weeks ago was necessary to stay competitive, the point is that Steve Jobs effectively announced no real price drop at WWDC, contrary to Sullivan's posts of last Monday. Todd's trying to reset the goal posts to justify his contention that the iPhone 3G is "cheaper". Sure, it's cheaper than it was last July, but it's not cheaper than it was three weeks ago.]

But depending on your data usage plan with AT&T, you may end up spending about the same or $100 or so more AFTER TWO YEARS.

No, not "may", "will". The data plan for the 3G starts at $10 more. You must buy a data plan to use the phone. OK, if you use no SMS, the Macalope supposes you don't have a charge there, but even without that it's still $40 more expensive after two years than the original iPhone.

If you are not a heavy text user, the phone and its plan are CHEAPER.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. It's still $40 more. The math is not that hard here, Todd. Read Gizmodo's chart.

Or, better yet, please, for the love of God, just stop writing about the iPhone.

Todd would have you ignore the total cost of the iPhone and focus solely on what you shell out to get the device in your hand. Who makes decisions like this? The Macalope can only imagine what life is like at the Sullivan house.

"Dad, can I get a zeppelin?"

"A zeppelin? I don't know. Sounds expensive. How much is it?"

"It's free! [With a $6,000 per month payment for five years. Some restrictions may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Adjustable rate loan, monthly payment may fluctuate as high as $9 bazillion.]"

"Free?! Well, sure, honey! Have fun! And watch out for cell towers! Ha-ha! Kids!"

(See, that was all obviously ironic as opposed to not obviously ironic, so... oh, never mind.)

Also Mac, what about the 1/4 to 1/3 of iPhones purchased that are eventually unlocked? Aren't they stunningly cheaper, or are we just ignoring them because they do not fit our argument?

Actually, those would be cheaper, obviously... if you can actually get out of the door with one without being tasered by AT&T's jack-booted thugs. See, Todd, AT&T has wised up and will be forcing customers to activate their phones before leaving the store.

Got it? You won't be able to leave the store without a contract. A two-year contract. One you must pay for. Contractually. For two years. With money.

Sure, some are still going to "fall off of a truck" in the Bronx every now and again and it might be possible to still get phones out of the store without a contract in other countries -- all of which have different hardware and plan prices which the Macalope won't go into because we're just talking about the U.S. here -- but if you are buying an iPhone 3G from Apple or AT&T in the U.S. it will be more expensive than its predecessor.

It's like beating your antlers against a brick wall.