Widgets represent a ideology different to that of Apps but fiction in a similar way. Each perform one single task. But Widgets are designed to give you a huge amount of data. All at once. Which isn't great for most people. Apple is shifting its focus from that minority to cater to most people. And they don't like multitasking (even if they're told that they should) because that's not how we think. We're much better at performing one task at a time and having individual apps to complete individual tasks fulfils that requirement. One app for email, one for messages, one for music. No one needs to look at their photos while checking twitter while picking what album to listen to next. It's easier to do each task sequentially, in the app best suited.
So I just don't get why people think widgets are necessary on a 4" screen. I've seen concept demos that actually require more complex interactions on the iOS home screen than we use now. Long holds or multiple taps to see a preview of your most recent email/tweet/calendar event when one tap would open that app and show you far more information. Maybe people just don't like the home button..?