Prism+’s business model now built around Netflix and Chill (literally)

Why have only fans when you can have an aircon. No, subscription is not included (Netflix).

by Justin Choo

The biggest plot twist on TV (retail website) right now is that Prism+ sells smart air conditioners. 

And no, they don’t have a Netflix n Chill TV and air conditioner bundle. Stop asking. But they should, if only just for the self-aware memes.

But now that the (smaller) elephant is out of the room, let’s return to the main event: why does Prism+ have an air conditioner in their catalogue?

One thing is for sure; Prism+ sure is signalling a considerable degree of commitment to this venture. Because along with the Smart Air Conditioner, they’ve developed a phone app and put together an in-house aircon servicing team (as opposed to third-party vendors).

In true Prism+ style, the PRISM+ Zero air conditioner system aims to punch above its price bracket, offering comparable features in a budget system: inverter technology to maintain temperatures efficiently, eco-friendly R32 refrigerant, and Prism+’s Obsidian Seal Technology – a five-layer coating that includes antibacterial and anti-corrosive materials to provide resistance to corrosion, heat and UV rays. It’s rated for five ticks by NEA’s Certified Energy Rating.

The Zero Series will kick off with three indoor unit models, the PRFZ09 (9,212 btu/h), PRFZ12 (12,010 btu/h) and PRFZ18 (18,010 btu/h) with another unit, PRFZ24 (24,200 btu/h) due in September. The outdoor compressor models, PRCZ28 and the PRCZ36 will support a variety of indoor unit combinations. 

Smart home ready

The truth is, there’s nothing exactly new here and most aircon brands do have their own version of a smart aircon experience. For Prism+, the backbone of the airconditioning system is PRISM+ Connect, a smartphone app designed for home automation, and probably the biggest indication that there will be more smart home appliances over the horizon. Prism+ does state that they intend to expand into home fixtures and furnishing, and this might well be the biggest differentiator, provided that Prism+ does follow through quickly enough for its users to enjoy that buzz of having the foresight to buy into an unproven system.

The app integrates Google Assistant, which means you can use voice control to operate your air conditioning system. Of course, the list of nifty features doesn’t end there. At its most basic, you can set up routines and conditional logic for the aircon to activate or deactivate, based on variables such as the time or the ambient temperature of the room; it’s no different from any other gadget that you have that’s part of your smart home network. You can trigger the aircon to turn on and off based on your proximity, which means you can come to an already cool room, or leave the house without worrying about forgetting to turn off the aircon because you have to make that diabolical 3-minute dash for your Grab ride. Prism+ is also looking to add more convenience-driven features such as motion sensing and energy monitoring in the near future.

And because the app can help to collate numbers and details about usage patterns and settings, you can log insights and share personalised settings, and more importantly, help you get on top of aircon maintenance, ensuring that you are on top of unit’s health and are in prime position to arrange maintenance checks and prevent potential long term issues due to neglect. As mentioned, you can schedule these appointments in-app, which brings us to the next bit.

Servicing perks

Air conditioners are one of those devices that require maintenance to function well; to be specific, of all the appliances at home, the aircon is the one that’s most noticeable when it’s not working fine. Not everyone knows how to macgyver their aircon and even if they do, not everyone finds the idea of vacuuming drainage systems after a long day at the office. And maintenance is something you have to do once or twice a year.

So, it kind of makes sense that Prism+ has decided to make this a key feature and build an in-house team to provide convenience in this area. Aside from the usual one-year warranty for the airconditioner units, they have a comprehensive care package to keep your aircon in shape; Prism+ even goes so far as to say that they have the most comprehensive warranty for air conditioners in the market.

How it works is that users can opt-in for quarterly servicing of their air conditioners through a pay-per-use system managed by Prism+. This kicks in an extended 8-year warranty on indoor units and outdoor compressors. Prism+ adds that they are keeping their servicing prices competitive with market prices and are offering value-added services such as free gas top-ups and bi-annual filter swaps.

Pricing and offers

The PRISM+ Zero Series is available for purchase on the PRISM+ online store, and at all PRISM+ roadshows, with prices starting from $2,399 for a System 2, $2,999 for a System 3, and $3,799 for a System 4.

You can enjoy early bird launch prices (first 200 users) when paying with Atome, Grab, and Pace through the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment features, with discounts up to $500. Factoring that in, the starting prices are $2,199 for a System 2, $2,599 for a System 3, and $3,299 for a System 4.

The first 200 customers to purchase a System 3 bundle will receive either a free Flow Soundbar (worth $269) or a Q32 Android TV (worth $379). Meanwhile, System 4 buyers will also take home a free Q55-QE Pro Android TV (worth $999). OK, so they do have a Netflix and Chill package of sorts (joke’s on you, subscription not included). 

Early bird customers can also enjoy an extended 8-year warranty on their aircon systems when they opt for Prism+’s own quarterly servicing, along with upgraded materials for their installation such as premium LitaFlex trunking, Armaflex Class 0 Insulation, 0.81mm copper pipes, and Keystone cables worth up to $1,900.

Is this a good buy? Well, it’s kind of hard to say at this point as it’s impossible to determine the longevity of the aircon unit, which I guess, is somewhat mitigated by the servicing options. But in terms of an apples-to-apples comparison, the units are priced on par with the competition, which is unlike their usual pricing strategy. The long-term servicing plan and 8-year warranty are probably how they hope to attract buyers. Is that enough? It probably comes down to whether you’ve owned Prsim+ products and are satisfied with their service quality.

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