Apple's main flash memory provider, Korea's Samsung Electronics, intends opening its own iTunes Music Store-like service with help from foreign partners.

The news was reported by The Korea Times, which cites company president Choi Gee-sung, who said: "We are now in talks with our partners to debut a service program like iTunes of Apple. Our number one priority is to help customers use our products with ease."

Gee-sung leads Samsung's digital media division. He sees China and Southeast Asia as having strong potential for such services, particularly as iTunes isn't yet available in those areas.

The company also intends adding hard drive-based music players to its present range of flash memory-based MP3 players.

By offering a service plus hardware model, Samsung hopes to seize 25-30 per cent of the global MP3 player market by 2007, he said.

The revelations come just two weeks since Apple and Samsung are reported to have ceased talks aiming to establish a $3.8 billion joint investment in flash memory manufacturing.