Tim Cook at Foxconn plant

Apple and Foxconn had already promised to improve working conditions at mainland Chinese factories, and Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has just revealed that the cooperation will be about more than just tightening up standards -- it'll be financial, too. The two companies plan to share the costs of making workers' day-to-day experiences more tolerable, although neither side is forthcoming with how much of the cost it plans to shoulder. Both Foxconn and likely Apple saw the better conditions as a "competitive strength," according to Gou, who implied that any costs would be paid back in goodwill and happier staff. Although it remains to be seen how much impact the cost sharing will have on Foxconn's ability to make its July 2013 target, that one of the contractor's many clients has actively volunteered cash to upgrade conditions is, as far as we can tell, a first.