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You've missed my point: those benchmarks confirm how underpowered the iPhone was/is, and provides support for the hypothesis for omitting Flash and Java. This relates to the article's suggestion of starting with the minimal feature set, and iterating. And your own point of "paring down" the feature set.

It might sound like I'm criticizing the iPhone, but I'm not: it's how Apple managed to create a cool experience for users in an incredibly compact size (they are tiny.)

The result is that when Moore's law does enable reasonable processing power in a device that small, Apple will be in the best position to exploit it, in market position, in design tradeoffs, and in engineering knowhow.

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