The Wall Street Journal has a story today on HP CEO Meg Whitman “taking a cue from Apple” and planning to release a redesigned line of PCs that could one day rival Apple. While mentioning the “brick” of a company laptop she received when taking over as CEO in September 2011, Whitman discussed the company’s struggle to keep up with Apple’s product design:

As part of her plan, Ms. Whitman is counting on better-looking PCs, hoping her company might one day rival Apple Inc. as the industry’s standard bearer for sleek design…”I don’t think we kept up with the innovation,” said the 56-year-old CEO. “The whole market has moved to something that is more beautiful… Apple taught us that design really matters,” she said. “I think we’ve made a lot of progress.”

HP executive Stacy Wolff is behind the new look, which he explained uses a common color palette, standard logo size, and reduced components “so that a computer’s chassis, for example, was a single piece of metal or plastic, instead of multiple pieces.”

Not only did the change make the products look better-built, but it sometimes made them cheaper or lighter…”We’re working on a cleaner, more minimalistic look,” he said.

We already got a look at HP’s sleeker [MacBook Air] look with its new Windows 8 notebooks at IFA (pictured above) and recently announced iMac with Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad (pictured right)…

According to the latest numbers from Canalys, Apple continued to lead worldwide PC shipments at nearly 20 percent market share with strong growth from the new iPad.

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