Generally speaking, the rule of thumb on mobile devices is to follow the platform conventions, and that native controls are almost always better than custom UIs. However, I'm at a loss as to whether the spinner-based date pickets which are core UI elements on iOS and Android are really the best experience for the user in most cases.
As a user myself, I find these interfaces to be helpful when they're replacing plain text input -- e.g., if I know the date that I want to set. For instance, if asked for my birthday, this is the easiest interface to pick it. However, in cases where context matters -- like when I want to set a bill to pay 'next Friday' in my mobile banking app -- I don't believe this is an appropriate interface. In my opinion, this sort of exploratory/contextual situation typifies most date-based inputs that I encounter on my mobile device, so I do question the appropriateness of the native UI elements overall.
Here's a custom interface example from the Kayak app which is more effective than the native date picker, given the context:
Has there been any user research into the effectiveness these UI elements? Is there an argument for using these controls (even if they're not perfect in a given situation) due to platform consistency?