Apps are "in fashion" a the moment, businesses think they need one just for presence, developers think they need one for their resume. I've fielded too many requests from companies that are seeking "an app". Naturally I'd quiz them on what they'd like the app to do, and quite often the answer is that they don't know and thought that is what I'd be bringing to the table.
I'm happy that there is a good history of the apple app store rejecting these kinds of trivial, next-to-no function apps.
$700 is roughly the same cost as one day of work from the developer. If you can't afford the Mac, then you can't afford for the developer to go one day over schedule.
For me it has nothing to do with closed minded. It's Apple's mantra, they rather have a small group of developers so they can select quality apps, than to have crappy apps.
Yes, you will need to have a Apple computer, but come on, it's not that expensive, besides if you want to make money you have to invest.
You develop iOS apps with Xcode. To support Windows, they need to then develop a whole Windows IDE, support it, etc. There isn't a significant reason to, there is no business sense in it.
Microsoft doesn't have an IDE for Mac to write Windows Phone 7 apps, and I don't see anyone crying about it.
Nobody is crying about it because there's nobody available to actually cry, as only Windows devs that already have Windows machines have been targeting it and in the larger picture all these WinMo devs put together are a tiny minority.
That Android's SDK is multi-platform, that's one of the best features of Android. Do you know why? Because it slowly grows in the minds of developers that try it out and if you want to just try it out, there's no barrier to entry. All you have to do is to download it.
I have only limited use of the iOS and Android dev tools, however overall found the iOS ones simpler to setup (ie, they're already there) and Android document somewhat weak for starting out.
Xcode is the full experience, while Java is always "use your favorite IDE". However that goes down a different wormhole, and personally, I don't care for Java.
The multi-platform may be a factor for a hobbyist, but not someone looking to actually make money. If they are serious, they shouldn't see a problem spending $500 on a Mac mini, even less on a used system, or renting one in the cloud. We aren't talking major expenses.
Other than being quite confusing to set up.
Consider yourself lucky that Microsoft and Linux don't require you to have homogenous gear to require you to develop web apps hosted on their systems. I should not have to buy a specific brand of hardware to develop on that platform, otherwise, its not very "revolutionary" at all is it?
The arrogant idea that mac is controlling quality by requiring a few select developers to make IOS apps is the reason I bought an Android phone, I'd rather deal with spyware and viruses than arrogant prudes.
There are technical reasons why Xcode is used, the function of the iPhone simulator under Xcode(n.b. it's not an emulator) and the underpinning of iOS & OSX which make mac-only dev a no brainer.
Also, we're not talking about an obscure, hard to acquire platform. The minimum system requirement is a core2duo intel mac (2gb ram), which are very easy to come by on ebay for the tight fisted.
For development, I can't see how a ~$200 premium of a Mac mini over a maybe-too-cheap-for-a-development-box Wintel machine is much of a deciding factor.