Apple's provisioning process on the other hand is the most painful thing I ever experienced.
Your information is years out of date. In XCode, you click 'use this device for development' and all the provisioning is done fully automatically.
So no. It is not far easier to get your app running on the device itself. That is just false.
While software engineering is hard as a discipline, I don't feel it is the hardest part of building a startup.
How you *get your code running on a device" is even better. And it's trivial with Android. It's a royal pain in the butt with iOS.
The simulator in almost every situation matches the device. And I don't understand how connecting your phone to your Mac constitutes "a royal pain in the butt".
While suppressing disbelief that this is even something being argued, I present the instructions to run your newly built app package on your Android device:
1) Make sure your the appropriate security options to allow app installs are checked in the phone settings.
2) adb -d install <path to apk>
3) Enjoy the your own app on your hardware you own without asking permission from anybody else
For iOS, start by paying $99 to Apple to register in the dev program. Then go through this tutorial explained with the help of >20 screenshots: