Foxconn, Apple's major manufacturing partner, has pledged to double salaries by the end of the year to $700. Though that might not sound like a lot, keep in mind that the current $350 base salary is well above the minimum $240/month wage set by the state, though well above the $145/month they were paying in early 2010. It's expected that Apple will be fronting this bill, considering the margins for Foxconn's parent company, Hon Hai, are only around 4%.
This pay increase, though relatively huge, is to be expected since following the extensive independent audit, Foxconn had pledged to reduce worker hours, but employees were worried that meant a pay cut as well.
From the sounds of it, this is actually setting the bar pretty high in the world of Chinese factories, and could result in a huge influx of interested employees. Foxconn is looking to significantly grow their workforce for the ramp-up to the iPhone 5 launch this fall, so cranking up the interest in potential employees might be just what they want, but if you've seen the stampede to the front gate on hiring day, things could get a little messy. Still, high fives for Apple for increasing wages in China, or should they be reserved for the massive amount of PR pressure that pretty much forced Apple to go above and beyond the current standards?