iOS also has an emulator that does exactly that. There is zero difference between developing for iOS, Windows or Android, other than the fact that the developer program on iOS gets you a code signing certificate, and on the other platforms you need to take care of that seperately. You can still DEVELOP for iOS with zero payment into the developer program.
Yes, you need a Mac, or at least some way of running OS X to run XCODE, but to develop for Android or Windows you also need a computer with either a Windows license or a copy of Linux.
A 2010 Mac Mini, which is more than capable of iOS development is not cost prohibitive.
2c. They're toast.
Lennart has done some good things in the past
In my experience I have had less crashes in the past 15 years with FreeBSD than I have with Linux. I have had crashes with both. I haven't had significantly more blue screens with Windows either, and the ones I have had with windows have been caused by broken hardware or drivers.
Buy decent hardware with proper driver support and most current operating systems are stable. Problem is most people buy bottom dollar hardware.
6.023 x 10 to the 23rd power alligator pears = Avocado's number