Motorola has responded angrily to recent claims that company CEO Ed Zander said: "Screw the nano".

The company claims a recent story to that effect quoted Zander "out of context".

Zander (illustrated) was "smiling and joking" when he responded to questions about Apple's new music player, and he did praise Apple and its iPod, a report claims.

The company's chief was fielding questions from journalists concerning his company's new iTunes phone, the ROKR.

However, some questions about the iPod nano cropped up, causing Zander's outburst as he attempted to return discussion to the topic, the report explains, citing the company.

"Motorola has a great partnership with Apple. Unfortunately Ed Zander's comments, made at a conference in California on Friday, were taken out of context," Motorola said in a statement provided to Beta News.

Zander reportedly bought two iPod nanos when they launched.