CPAN is very much alive. And it rocks. Of course there is a lot old or unmaintained stuff out there. So what, that problem exists for pretty much every language that is mature and stable enough to be used in commercial projects.
Why should we spent our time breaking into childrens toys like those iDevices when we know how to use real computers with real keyboards and a usable screen size? Perl is used by quite a lot of tablets and phones... every time they go online. It's my personal prediction that the trend will be to go in the direction of more web based services (e.g. "the cloud") and away from specialized apps for specific handheld devices anyway.
But if you don't like Perl, then don't bother. There are quite of lot of specialized languages like C#, Objective C, .Net and stuff that lock you in to your favourite vendor's stuff. Hacking Perl onto such a locked down device would be of limited use, since there is no guarantee it will still work after the next software upgrade - the same goes for any non-vendor-approved stuff.
"Believe me, Mike, I calculated the odds of this succeeding against the odds I was doing something incredibly stupidů and I went ahead anyway." (Crow in "MST3K The Movie")
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