Re: specialized skills
This PHP thing has to be driven by all these wannabee "get rich" startups who think they have the next killer app. PHP is server side, probably the cheapest, easiest way for these guys to connect mobile devices to a server database. And by that I mean cheap open source type "servers" using cheap/free OpenSQL databases, or more likely some cloud infrastructure made up of that stuff.
What I read into this is these companies must not have any real developers, it isn't hard to learn PHP is you are already a developer. PHP is not Java, it's simple, which is why it is popular.
The scary part is PHP can get you into a world of hurt from a security point of view, you really have to know your stuff to lock server down. How many of these PHP development freelance guys know squat about that? And what do they care about security, it's not their company or data. That is one scary trend we are seeing here.