While driver conflicts and thermal issues are possible and very likely explanations, the fact is that Asphalt is a terrible benchmark.
Let's say you want to add 2 numbers. You create a program that does that, and it takes 1 flop. That's the best case scenario and a perfect benchmark.
Now, let's say your friend programmed a worse program, and every operation he does takes 10 flops. Not very good, but it can be worse. That too can be used as a benchmark.
The Gameloft ports are the equivalent of taking, as a base, 10 flops for every simple operation, plus 10^(number of pixels on the screen) flops.
Since it does that, lower end devices can't handle it, even though they should. Even higher end devices will struggle with it, even though they'll be better than them. It's just an unfair comparison.