Apple's newly revealed cheaper iPod shuffles and 1GB iPod nano have sent some flash memory maker stocks down, though other iPod partners continue to benefit.

Investors ran shy of memory maker stocks for fear that the price of such memory components would be driven down, trimming profits - and impacting on shareholder returns.

Other MP3 player manufacturers were also hit by shareholder turbulence.

However, the market for flash is likely to become more competitive. Dell last weekend confirmed plans to exit the hard drive MP3 player business and move to a flash-based player range.

A Dell representative told Bloomberg News: "We made a decision to transition from the hard-drive products to flash players at the beginning of this year."

Spot prices for flash memory have fallen 20 per cent so far this year. Speaking to Reuters, CJ Investment & Securities analyst Lee Min-hee describe this drop as "worse than expected, even considering demand usually slows in the first quarter."

"Apple appears to be aiming at spurring demand with lower prices. Looking back, people had been too optimistic about NAND late last year."

The move also reflects chip makers investing hugely in new flash memory manufacturing facilities. This morning Toshiba and SanDisk confirmed a billion-dollar investment in a new advanced plant in Japan.

Investors in Apple's iPod manufacturing partners are having a better time of it. Foxconn Electronics, for example, is pulling in NT$10 billion each month from making iPod nanos, according to DigiTimes.