Although some service disruptions were reported, networks of undersea communications cables that connect Japan with the U.S. and other international points have largely withstood the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeast coast last Friday. Meanwhile, as engineers worked to restore service via damaged cables, analysts indicated that supplies and prices of chipsets produced in Japan for use in smart phones and tablet PCs are likely to fluctuate wildly, owing to complications in transporting goods to Japanese air and sea ports for overseas shipment. While Sprint-Nextel reported no impact to its network assets between the U.S. and Japan, Verizon and AT&T confirmed that some cables belonging to consortia in which both companies participate had been damaged by the quake. Verizon reported no service interruptions, however, citing the use of “optical meshing” technologies that switched affected traffic automatically to alternate cables. Acknowledging that some of its traffic had been disrupted along the APCN-2 cable that connects Japan with nine international landing points, AT&T said affected customers were being rerouted to undamaged circuits. Sources confirmed, meanwhile, that northern and western sections of PC-1, a 13,000-mile fiber ring operated by a subsidiary of NTT Communications, remained out of service as of Monday along with one Japan-U.S. cable operated by KDDI. A spokesman for Korea Telecom also noted that a segment of the Japan-U.S. Cable Network had been damaged by the earthquake. In terms of the quake’s impact upon the international electronics market, an official of market research firm Objective Analysis anticipated that “phenomenal” short-term price swings and shortages will affect flash memory chip sets used in the Apple iPhone, iPad and other smart phones and tablet PCs. Although Toshiba, SanDisk, and other major chip producers operate factories in areas south of Tokyo that were unaffected by the quake, observers say that wider regional impacts on Japan’s transportation infrastructure are likely to cause significant shipping delays.