Dell has stopped selling Apple's iPod MP3 player in the USA, MacCentral reports.

Dell stopped selling the product around March 31, the report suggests. The move is Dell's response to changes that Apple is making to its agreements with US resellers.

Last year, Apple announced that Dell and giant US electrical-retail store, Target, were selling iPods. Neither Target, nor Apple, commented on Dell's decision.

Apple's relationship with US resellers has been rocky in recent months. In February, Business Week claimed independent US resellers were facing a bumpy ride, and suggested Apple eliminate those situated near its US retail stores.

"Apple can pocket far-higher margins by selling its machines at retail prices at its own outlets, rather than selling wholesale to the independents," it wrote.

In February it emerged that a number of US dealers, including major outlet Macadam, have filed a lawsuit against Apple. Macadam owner Tom Santos accused Apple of fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, false advertising and violation of US racketeering legislation.

This reflects Apple's development of a US distribution system that's less dependent on independent dealers. Apple's strategy is to increase market share through its own retail outlets, arguing that this is good for the entire Mac industry.

Apple is set to implement a similar retail strategy in Europe, a recent report claims. AsiaPulse also reported that Apple will open an own-brand retail store in Tokyo this year.

In October, Apple announced a new European margin structure for its dealers: it rewards dealers who offer after-sales support and specialist knowledge.

At that time, Apple UK managing director Mark Rogers said: "Apple has designed this structure to support the development of the best possible quality buying experience for our customers.

"It's designed to stimulate growth."

Such growth may have short-term consequences. Apple's most recent 10K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned: "Failure to manage relationships with existing retail partners" could adversely affect its performance.