Andy Rubin and his new startup introduced the Essential Phone a few months ago with a $699 price tag. Well fast-forward to the present and the company announced the phone is now available with a permanent price cut. Interested parties can now purchase the Essential Phone for just $499.

The phone was discounted in order to make it easier for customers to try out the bezel-less handset. For those who already bought an Essential Phone, the company is offering a $200 friends & family code to be used on the official website towards the purchase of another Essential phone or an Essential 360 Camera.

As far as we can tell from an official post, the promo is targeted at people who already own an Essential Phone, which is a bit bizarre. The company encourages customers to use the promo code to buy an Essential Phone for a loved one, but what about the people who wanted to give the phone a shot but were put off by the large price tag?

In September, a report coming out from research firm BayStreet – known for tracking shipments of phones in the US – revealed only 5,000 Essential Phone units sold in the country since launch. So you’d think Essential would want to encourage new customers to buy the device

We’re currently seeing the new price tag on the official Essential website, but also at Best Buy (where it seems to be available for all – Essential owners and non-owners alike).

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