Designed in California. Made in hell by little children.

So Apple is the new Nike. Does anybody care?

The IPODs that have increasingly become their core — nee only — market are allegedly made under hellish conditions — which could be a problem for a company with decidedly Blue State roots and a constituency that supposedly cares about such thing as modern day slavery.

The article in the Mail on Sunday alleged that workers received as little as [$40] a month, doing 15-hour shifts making the iconic mp3 player.

Employees at the factory lived in dormitories housing 100 people and outsiders were banned, the paper said.

Apple said it did not tolerate its supplier code of conduct being broken.

So what are they going to do about it? They are hoping to take care of the issue in house before anyone piles into the Passat and heads over to the Mac store at the Grove to protest – – and maybe pick up a new pair of headphones because the one’s the slaves make are kind of crappy.

The company added it was “currently investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the iPod manufacturing plant in China”.

Well good thing the people the who set the whole thing, who have mortgaged the whole company on the delirious cost diferential between making the fancy walkmen and selling them, are going to roll up their short sleeve Aloha shirts and get to the bottom of it.

What will their solution be? Our guess is that the investigating committee will come up with cool rainbow and chrome IPODs with Jon Stewart‘s autograph on the back and watch the agog press corps forget about the whole nasty slave thing.