It looks like Google’s Nexus 6 discount is permanent

In early June, Google went on a discount blitz, temporarily reducing the prices of its Android lineup for Fathers’ Day.

The biggest discount was to the Nexus 6, which dropped 20% from $749 to $599 for the 32GB version, and from $799 to $649 for the 64GB model. And now, while the Android Wear lineup has returned to normal prices, the Nexus 6 appears to have stayed at that $599 price point.

What does this mean? Is Google preparing to update the phone with, perhaps, two new models set for debut later this year? Of course it is, but that’s not for a few more months.

The takeaway from this seemingly-permanent price drop is that Google understands the Nexus 6, for all its virtues, was likely overpriced, alienating fans of the “Nexus effect,” which offered a great smartphone at significant discount.

The Nexus 6 at $599, while not quite at the levels of the Nexus 4 or 5, is a much better value proposition than it used to be. Indeed, the phone will be the first to receive Android M later this year (aside from the new Nexus[es]) and still offers a potent combination of size, speed and usability. Even the camera is pretty good (but not great).

Basically, with the rise of excellent unlocked smartphones like the Asus ZenFone 2 and Moto G/E, the Nexus 6 is clearly in a different category, but at $599 shouldn’t be dismissed.

Oh, and it comes with free shipping.