Earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador affect Sony, US carriers
The planet’s tectonic plates have taken a large share of the world’s attention this week and mobile technology-related firms have had to respond to these events.
Major earthquakes struck the southern Japanese island of Kyushu on Thursday and Saturday, just north of the city of Kumamoto. As of this post, rescue missions are continuing and growing in difficulty as time passes. But the business impacts of this tremor may make impact some 5,700 miles away in Cupertino.
It comes to Apple’s major CMOS imaging sensor provider, Sony, which shut down its Kumamoto plant on Friday and has kept it closed since. Sony provides sensors used in production of iPhones. The Japanese company doesn’t expect supply disruption as it has diversified its inventory sourcing. A recovery update is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
The manufacturer also pared back activity at another two imaging sensor plants on Kyushu for the day yesterday, but both of them have returned to full capacity.
Source: Reuters (1, 2)
Aftershocks continue after last night’s magnitude 7.8 temblor occurring off the coast of Ecuador, about 100 miles northwest of the capital, Quito. The death toll stands at more than 200 while more than 2,500 casualties are being reported.
As it stands, three major US carriers are providing for customers trying to reach people in the South American country.
AT&T will zero-out charges for landline or mobile calls and SMS made to Ecuador up through April 22.
Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile are making voice service and SMS from the US to Ecuador fee-free until April 23. Sprint postpaid roaming customers will also get free calls and texts in Ecuador through April 23.
T-Mobile is also crediting calls and texts from the US to Ecuador until April 24.
Verizon and US Cellular may likely follow suit and waive international calling and texting charges from April 16 onward when the workweek begins. Ecuadorean emigrants to the US who financially support families back home, though, may turn to other options if they’re on these two carriers.
Image: AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa