Do we really need to mimic ‘real life’ to the degree that Apple has done to feel comfortable in a digital interface? Perhaps not.
An interesting debate is raging over the gratuitous use of redundant graphics to define elements (and help us recognize and understand them) in our digital world, such as the literal trash can on the Apple desktop.
Skeumorphism is more user friendly, but some argue that we’ve been in the digital realm long enough to have outgrown it’s patronizing approach. That may well be true and we have somewhat overcooked it, I mean, do we really need the calendar icon to look like that? and Now that Jony Ive is overseeing the software development too at Apple it’ll be interesting to see what iOS7 and OSX 10.9 will reveal.