Given the glacial pace of HTML5's development, I don't see the Web's markup language becoming gesture-savvy any time soon. HTML, even with all the wonderful additions in HTML5, will be at a disadvantage.
That's not to say the Web is irrelevant. There are plenty of presentation-style apps that are perfectly fine in HTML on the iPad or other mobile device. And of course there are some native apps that are poor versions of the website -- Netflix is a great example of a native app gone horribly wrong. Bad apps are bad apps, after all. But you can't compare native apps like Keynote, Drawvis, GarageBand, or OmniSketch (all iOS apps) to what's available as Web apps.
Of course, the various mobile SDKs let developers blend native and Web apps, so the argument really should be about degree of use and fit for the task. Many banking apps follow this hybrid approach, for example, as do presentation-oriented apps such as Mellmo's RoamBI set of visualization tools. Not only does this approach make it easier to create native apps for mutiple platforms, it also allows more dynamic updating of information, which simply makes sense for any app that relies on cloud-based data or resources to function, such as stock tickers, news sites, and report generation. But it's the native part of the equation that lets an app be outstanding and natural to use.
This article, "Why native mobile apps beat HTML5 mobile apps," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Galen Gruman's Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.