Working conditions in Foxconn's Chinese manufacturing plants have been the turd floating around Apple's Scrooge McDuck swimming pool of money for a while. Now Apple is reportedly partnering with Foxconn to improve working conditions in its plants, and splitting the cost to get there.
The Reuters report doesn't specify how much the improvements will cost, or what the split between Foxconn and Apple will be. But the last bump to conditions—improved salaries for workers—is already apparently negatively affecting the bottom line at Foxconn's biggest plant. So we'll see, probably in short order, how committed Foxconn is to this whole improved conditions thing.
But the story is Apple, as it always is with Foxconn. Even though the Chinese company manufactures parts and devices for many of the other largest electronics companies, Apple's the one that gets clobbered when poor working conditions come out. So while it shoulders a disproportionate amount of the blame, it's nice to see Apple also taking on a large share of the responsibility—since it's got a disproportionate amount of the cash, too. [Reuters via Cult of Mac]