Rueters reports on major unrest at the source of the world’s baubles:

About 2,000 Chinese employees of an iPhone assembly company fought a pitched battle into the early hours of Monday, forcing the huge electronics plant where they work to be shut down.

Authorities in the northern city of Taiyuan sent 5,000 police to restore order. On Monday evening, paramilitary police with riot shields, helmets and batons guarded one entrance of the massive factory complex, while an announcement over loudspeakers said there had been a criminal incident the night before and urged people to respect the law.

Employees and people posting messages online accused factory guards of provoking the trouble by beating up workers at the factory, which is owned by the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods.

A short but nuanced glimpse at the conditions from which spring our beloved Apple products, with long hours of tedium and breaks on the soccer field. If this was your life, would you want to use an iPad after?

Marketplace Shanghai Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz is only the second reporter ever to gain access to visit the factory floor at Apple’s Chinese producer Foxconn.

Fair Trade labels, are an increasingly a common sight on food stuffs like coffee, bananas, sugar, tea and chocolate. While the labeling system is an imperfect mediator to global disparity and injustice,…

Eric Mack writes on cNet News:

Recent Foxconn revelations hint at higher costs than previous estimates that are still staggeringly low by Western standards. An unprecedented peek behind the curtain of Foxconn’s factories in China may have revealed new hints to how much it actually costs to make each iPhone.

ABC’s “Nightline” was recently given access to the factory floor, and the resulting reporting has provided some new insights into exactly how iPhones are built, a part of the gadget’s gestation process that’s typically been a very closely guarded trade secret.

Horace Dediu, blogger, analyst, and former business development manager for Nokia, tried to parse some of the clues and came to some interesting conclusions …