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)…

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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.