It’s quite self-evident that many developers think that good tools “attract” developers to the platform and increase business prospects. But that is of course bullshit.
Microsoft, Apple, Google are not in business of selling developer tools. They sell their actual products to actual customers and optimize their production process to make their products better.
Improvement of a developer tool is not a function of your, developer’s, satisfaction and productivity. It is a function of your productivity and whatever design choices the company makes about their actual products. So you are only one part of equation. And normally, the smaller one.
If the iPhone is memory- and CPU-constrained, Apple is free to decide to not use a garbage collection and thus make developers less productive. They might lose non-paying developer (who potentially would’ve written a killer app), but would gain real paying customers.
Now, from the developer perspective, they are in the business of making products for people, not coding for fun. So they need a platform with a demand for their products. (Those who code for fun do not affect business decisions anyway.) A tool quality here plays only a role of production costs like many other costs. If the tool is so abysmal that its productivity cost consumes all the profits, then the platform won’t attract a developer. But if it’s good enough, it’ll be of course used provided the platform brings income to the developer. In other words, the primary force is the customer demand for vendor’s and 3rd parties’ products. Every other factor is a secondary.
Here’s a quite recent quote:
“But for now, Objective-C remains difficult to approach; only the appeal of writing hit iOS apps seems to be driving its popularity.”
Actually, the only purpose of Objective-C is to write hit apps (and the only purpose of apps is to satisfy paying customers). And if it remains “difficult to approach” for you, then you in particular do not envision some particular app worth writing given the current costs of mastering the tool.