Apple’s tear as the leader of the MP3 market is facing competition on an old fashioned front. Not the the music web store front, but instead in good old fashioned consumer electronic commodities like flash.

San Disk has released new Sansa players with twice the amount of flash as the Apple Nano and slashed their prices at the same time.

“The most costly ingredient in a flash-based (music) player is the flash memory,” said Eric Bone, director of audio/video product marketing at SanDisk. “Since we make the flash memory, we essentially remove the middleman and pass that savings directly to the consumer.”

Apple is going to have to fend off Microsoft on the content front and fight another battle on the flash commodity front, while attempting to settle border disputes in the mobile phone and video segments of personal players as well.