I agree with all points. What I'm wondering is, what percentage of mobile users are like me, you and almost everyone that commented here? Does the proverbial "average user" share the sentiment? My guess is no, or else the marketroids that push the app agenda would have gotten the message by now.
Forced registration to read it would be my guess. Nothing else against it really personally. Some people just don't like having to create an account to (passively) participate in a community. I read hacker news for well over a year before I decided to create an actual account for posting.
If I feel I reach a point I can contribute something useful to a community, that is when I create an account. However, I think forcing people to create an account either detours some or nudges others to participate more (whether they have anything useful to contribute or not).
Even then, creating an account to post to a community is an absurd idea in the first place, why do you need my email, name, dob, and social security number to post on a bloody internet forum and contribute content to your website?
There is your usual suspects: combat spam and the anonymous coward effect but even then there is many ways to combat these without invading my privacy / lessening my security online.
I think it mostly comes down to lazy analytics and shitty metrics. "we have xx registered users",90% of those are made up of shell accounts and inactive users but at least the numbers sound good.
This app thing is just the new incarnation of shitty metrics and the same old story of
developer: oo new tech, me want to makey makey.
boss: can you justify it, isn't our mobile site fine?
boss: ok ok, jesus, fuck. Just, we'll have to make sure users actually install it though, or we'll be out of the job.
The mobile market has been exploding. Even if you did a lot of stuff wrong it's almost impossible to not have had a growth curve. My feeling is that most content-driven apps would have been more successful as mobile sites, but that it's impossible to derive this from statistics due to the unstable pattern of the market as a whole.
There are a lot of web designs that the average user finds annoying, which is in the same category as this - 'I don't want a splash page, I don't want your artsy and convention-breaking layout, I don't want your app - I just want to find what I need without anything getting in my way.' It can be hard to find web pages that don't violate some useability principles that seem pretty obvious.