Summary Box: Group inspecting Apple suppliers

NEW CHECKS: Apple says an independent group, the Fair Labor Association, has started inspecting the working conditions in the Chinese factories where its iPads and iPhones are assembled.

THEN AND NOW: Apple has been conducting its own audits since 2006. A month ago, it took the additional step of joining Washington-based FLA, a group of companies and universities focused on improving labor practices.

COMPLAINTS: A New York Times story published Jan. 26 reported on accidents and long hours at factories of one of the supplies, Foxconn, based on workers’ accounts. Foxconn disputed allegations of back-to-back shifts and crowded living conditions.