I think Forestall is (perhaps unconsciously) aping his mentor again by getting "fired" at the peak of his career. Remember, Jobs was an abrasive asshole as a young man also. Now Forestall will spend a few years in "exile" doing some other project that won't work out, only to return to Apple after he has matured as a saviour of sorts in 2022 after Tim dies and Schiller has retired to his lazy-boy recliner.
As for skeuomorphism, it gets a bad rap because most of the tech press is, well ... techies. And they have no idea about design or the possible reasons for such skueomorphic designs. True, they have gone a bit too far lately but many of Apple's designs in this category are not only successful and popular, they are necessary.
Think about it. If iBooks wasn't a book shelf but a simple list of titles for example, how does the average user tell the difference between a list of books on their device and a list of items in the store? They *need* two separate metaphors there.
It's also confusing enough for the average person to tell the difference between iTunes the store (on their device) and iTunes the player (on their device). Apple is introducing a whole new group of people to computers for the first time with iOS. People who didn't previously use them because they found the whole deal confusing. Just because a bunch of techies don't like skeuomorphism, doesn't mean that HUGE numbers of average people aren't greatly assisted by the concept.
Try showing Microsoft's "flat" "modern" Metro UI to a bunch of seniors and then come back and tell me how flatter is better and that skeuomorphism isn't needed. Metro just a bunch of pretty squares to most non-computer savy folks and completely unusable.
Now this I agree with. What are you, bipolar on an hourly basis?
The thing Ive brings to his industrial design above all other sensorial aspects is tactility. His stuff is meant to feel good in the hand, or to look like it wants to be touched, like the back of the recent iMacs. This is a very British thing, or more accurately maybe, a Celto-Germanic thing.
Jobs had it too, thus the BMW motorcycle (60s/70s vintage?) that he had enshrined at Apple as a design example. Those were very tactile machines, with their sculpted crankcases and rounded cylinder heads, glowing aliminum and I suppose magnesium.
Ive's Bently is a monument to tactility as is his house.
Skeuomorphic software motifs are intended to add tactility to the interface, along with visual interest. Right-brain guys like Ive and Jobs, don't know about Forstall, are highly tolerant of tactile eye-candy. Left-brain types find it distracting or even painful. Microsoft is dedicated to left-brainism, which is why they're struggling to find something appealing for their interface.
The myth that Ive is opposed to s'morphism (hate the word) is just that, myth, until proved otherwise—the work of one Telegraph journalist and a bunch of unnamed sources. I hope I'm not proved wrong about that, because I like the tactility myself.
Edit: corrected to Aston-Martin below. Don't know the tactility quotient of that car, haven't had the pleasure of examining one.
Edited by Flaneur - 11/1/12 at 1:09pm