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HONG KONG – Apple’s CEO Timothy D. Cook announced lower iPhone prices during a visit to a plant in China today.

The announcement came as Cook toured a Foxconn Technology facility in the city of Zhengzhou, in the province of Henan. Apple had recently come under fire for poor work conditions at its Chinese manufacturers.

“We’re turning this misconception of lousy work conditions around. We’re lowering prices on the iPhone. We know that’s what people care about,” Cook explained.

According to the Apple web site, the iPhone 4S will start at $159. The iPhone 4 will start at $59. AT&T carriers can get the 3G for free.

When asked about work conditions at the Foxconn plant, Cook refuted the claims. “These people have good jobs, especially for this part of China. The Foxconn facility is clean. They serve decent meals and workers can even shower if they wish. As I mentioned earlier, we’re lowering prices on iPhones without lowering wages.”