A patent filed by Apple was recently discovered which, through direct reference to the device, suggests that iChat might be on its way to the iPhone. iChat is Apple's audio and video conferencing software, which also features a multi-network instant messenging client.
The patent discusses the synchronization of photos and videos with audio tracks of the person speaking in iChat. Specifically, it mentions the availability of that visual information on macs, iPhones, and other devices.
The patent offers no information that would provide clues as to how fully featured a version of iChat might be available for the iPhone, or when one would expect iChat for the iPhone to be available. For all we know, iChat might not even be planned for the first generation iPhone. It does, however, provide evidence that Apple is likely exploring and developing an iChat application that would run on the iPhone.[via MacNN]