Hi Michael, I like the fact that someone is picking up on this trend. When products make it so fast to market it really is a case of survival of the fittest, and that equates directly with ease of use and functionality.
A bit of constructive criticism;
‘Complexity reduction’ might be a more apt label, given this approach is primarily about reducing noise and simplifying choice.
For comparison maybe use identical screen shots — hard to see exactly what’s changed when different screens are shown.
Also, personally speaking the role definitions seem inaccurate, I think what you’re describing is more a case of the merging of UI designer (designing interaction) and Visual Designer (designing the visual treatment) roles. The UX Designer who makes decisions based on research and testing isn’t mentioned in your examples. No doubt in the examples shown that the UX Designer is contributing research related input prior to design and recommendations based off testing once a workable concept can be tested.
Minor points aside - thanks for a good article. :)