Samsung's leader has rejected claims that his company has been untoward with Apple, in terms of flash memory supplies.

Local Korean firms claim to have been heavily impacted by Apple's aggressive pitch on price with its new iPod nano.

This has been made possible through a major deal with Samsung, in which some reports claim Apple purchased 40 per cent of the company's flash memory output at a discounted price.

Local MP3 player vendors have rushed to cry "foul", accusing Samsung of favouring the American company over and above the needs of local industry. But Samsung CEO Hwang Chang-kyu says: "There was nothing unfair about the businesses with Apple," according to a local report.

The CEO also dismissed local makers' assertions that the Apple deal would damage them, saying that: "Eventually, the MLC and 4GB memory type will be provided to any company that wants it, but currently Apple seems to be the only one."

But it could get worse for Apple's competition. Business Week reports the company is speaking with other flash memory makers, including Toshiba and Hynix Semiconductor. Both the latter companies may "also give Apple favourable pricing", the report states, "making it even tougher for others to compete on price and amid constrained supplies".

Apple is first to market with music players powered by a new flash memory iteration called Multi-Level Cell (MLC). This is 30-40 per cent cheaper than the commonly-employed Single-Level Cell (SLC) memory. It can also store two data units on one cell and has been in production since June.

However, Chang-kyu observed: "It's true that the company that has the largest market will have the edge".