A newly designed iPod shuffle may be in the pipeline, with the current component makers being left out of the equation.

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu has downgraded shares of both SigmaTel and Asustek. SigmaTel supplies Apple with digital music decoder chips used in the iPod shuffle. Asustek is Apple's iPod shuffle manufacturing partner.

Wu has downgraded SigmaTel shares from HOLD to SELL, one reason for this is that he believes "there is potential risk that AAPL's yet-to-be announced new and improved entry-level iPod will not utilise SGTL."

Wu also raises concerns about Asustek. That company has "declined to below 10 per cent of revenue, meaning business at Apple was likely down sequentially, despite strong iPod shuffle sales." The analyst still recommends Apple as a BUY.