Forget the ultrabook and the Android, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has more to worry about now as PC makers line up to copy the designs of some of their more niche products. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is the lates company to release a clone of one of Apple’s adored products. The result is the above iMac lookalike.

It does beat past attempts at recreating the Apple Inc. by matching their all-in-one pixel for pixel. The resolution of this Dell’s screen is 2,560 by 1,440, The computer comes with Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 processors and is released in Asia today. It will be released around the world in the coming weeks. It also looks a great deal like an iMac.

imac

Apple are great at what they do. They design beautiful machines that consumers want and some feel an actual physical need to acquire. Despite that, I do not want everything to look like Apple made it. In recent years non Apple tech companies have tried to get their design departments into gear after what seemed years of languishing in the same old recesses.

Now we’ve got a different problem. PC makers are finally making machines that look exceptional, like many of the new ultrabooks, but they also look exceptionally like the Macbook Pro and Macbook Air. There are some companies that have made leaps to different form factors but most seem content with following the crowd.

It is easy to see from the sales tables that those making design a top priority and non-Apple design a close second are doing better in sales. Lenovo, for example is keeping itself independent in many respects and is not falling into the same traps that Dell has here. Their products are selling faster than anybody else’s.

PC makers need to catch up to Apple in design and not in the way they’ve gone about it recently. The companies, bar one or two, are following Apple. But most of their releases are based on Apple products from years ago. Much of Apple’s Mac design is up for serious redesign. What will PC makers do then?

There are three options. The first is to continue making designs two years behind Apple in a simple and suicidal slump to the bottom. The second would be to change immediately putting pressure on costs and upgrade cycles. The third is to be creative.

Nobody wants to see PC makers take anything but option three.