True, the verge does suck on mobile. This page is 2.9MB and has nearly 200 http requests. They want to school people why the mobile web sucks, they should start by improving their site. Mobile browsers do not suck, websites like the verge suck.
Furthermore, this article only highlights the pitfalls of Safari on iOS. Which obviously is not the entire mobile web.
You said it all, just wanted to add this thorough investigation what The Verge loads for actually this exact article: Les Orchard: The Verge's web sucks
In short: 30 seconds load time, 9.5MB data across 263 HTTP requests for 75kb of HTML – crazy.
Basically anything to measure, track and share that's important for revenue can have a massive overhead. Big problem is these services are often sold to the money men rather than those implementing.
The author is saying the mobile web has two problems: 1) platforms (like Apple) refuse to let developers make their own browsers without the Safari rendering engine and 2) webpages are usually bloated with JS for monetization, event tracking, etc.
Safari is not the only browser affected; all browsers on iPhone must use Safari's rendering engine, which is stifling innovation and performance. This makes some business sense if Apple plans to really invest in Apple News. But to be fair, all iOS mobile use is not the entire mobile web, but it's not trivial either.
The upcoming release of iOS 9 will have content (ad) blocking on Safari, and I bet that will have a massive impact on websites with ad-based revenues, The Verge being one of them.