Last night, I was wondering why my iPhone dings like a vintage bell when I get a text message. Why does new technology use sounds that are antiquated? With the development of new technology you would think new sounds would replace old sounds. When they invented the telephone, it rang the way it did because it's mechanisms required it to do so. But now.... Why does my mobile phone still use that ring? What is this phenomenon? What made that ring special amongst all the other telephone rings in history?
I have found the answer!
A skeuomorph /ˈskjuːəmɔrf/ skew-ə-morf, or skeuomorphism (Greek: skeuos—vessel or tool, morphe—shape), is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make the new look comfortably old and familiar, such as copper cladding on zinc pennies or computer printed postage with a circular town name and cancellation lines.
An alternative definition is "an element of design or structure that serves little or no purpose in the artifact fashioned from the new material but was essential to the object made from the original material". This definition is narrower in scope and ties skeuomorphs to changes in materials.
Must find out more.