I'm hearing that mobile developers are having no trouble getting $100-150 per hour for contractor or freelancer rates. Meanwhile, PHP developers are lucky to get $50 p/h Java and .Net maybr $70 per hour, and Ruby/Python perhaps around $80 per hour. I've even heard stories of top IOS engineers earning as high as $250 per hour in Silicon Valley for specific projects.
Can anyone validate/refute this? Also, does this implies gigs are extremely easy to get in Mobile currently - is that also true?
It's quite possible. For the top rates, I'd guess that you would be able to develop an awesome app without supervision based on only one paragraph of description, and be local to the Silicon Valley company that wants your services.
I haven't pursued freelance Android work, but I would ask for something in the $100-150 range. I couldn't afford time away from my own apps otherwise.
Also, does this implies gigs are extremely easy to get in Mobile currently - is that also true?
I doubt the top paying ones are as easy to get as the lower paying ones, but I would venture a guess that supply and demand is in your favor if you've got talent. I get a few messages from recruiters every week about Android gigs, and I'm not looking.
You wouldn't get those numbers in an international online freelance market like Odesk or elance, though. I've hired people between $15-20 in India and the Philippines, and there are more experienced ones for $25-33.