This page turn animation is only used in iBooks, on iOS (so only iPhone/iPad/iPod), not the desktop. It works _very_ well with a finger interface, it makes more sense than any other sort of transition. I absolutely loathed using readers without any subtle animation... they were far too jarring an experience (something that apparently doesn't impact some people at all).
Apple's implementation is actually quite nice, very well thought out with subtleties that aren't immediate obvious how useful they are (being able to pull down a corner is actually very nice... much nicer than swapping pages, even though you'd never assume that). Being able to get a /patent/ on it is still absurd, but I'm long past looking down on the companies for applying for them, it's the patent office's fault for granting them, and the governments for not having any problem with it (you could eventually get back around to the company, but they're just exploiting a broken system, just like happens with every other broken system in the world).