Each cell as an individual object is not only obviously inefficient, it's absurdly so.
It's like some idiot kid who just learned about "oop" thought to himself "cells, that's a noun. I'll make a cell class!" without putting in any further thought. It's a laughably bad approach that you wouldn't expect from anyone even minimally competent.
That this is the approach initially used is beyond belief. That it's still the approach used stretches credulity!