iPhone 4.0: iChatAgent hints at video chat in next-gen iPhone?

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TUAW was slipped a screenshot today showing something called iChatAgent running on iPhone 4.0. iChat is Apple's instant message client for Mac OS X that includes voice and video chat, among other features. Rumors of a Mobile iChat for iPhone that would include webcam-style video chat date back to 2008, and were most recently seen in (and then taken away from) iPhone 3.2 for iPad.

Will we finally see an honest-to-Jobs Mobile iChat video this summer at WWDC along with a next-generation iPhone (don't call it the iPhone 4G!) featuring a front-facing camera?

We're not getting out hopes up anymore. Really. We swear...

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 15 comments. Add yours.

BrianTufo says:

First!!! And this would be AWESOME!!! I can't wait for WWDC to see what the next iPhone is going to have to offer!!!

Ethan says:

I would like to have it, but it's not a dealbreaker. Maybe it'd be more desirable on LTE than 3G.

BrianTufo says:

I'll take it either way because you could still use it on WiFi.

Freiteez says:

If this is true I'll preorder! (if I can) or wait in line at midnight. Been waiting for this. But I won't get my hopes up

J. Danny says:

It is iPhone 4Gen so 4G seems right for now, unless otherwise re-branded [ HD or something ]

Ivoryplum says:

@J. Danny The 3G in iPhone 3G refers to the network it uses, AT&Ts 3G network. The first generation iPhone only had 2G radios. Calling the next generation iPhone 4G would imply that it's using a new 4G network, which AT&T has yet to unleash. So no... iPhone 4G doesn't seem right.

ChucklingChuck says:

Well, John Gruber DID say it will have a front facing camera and a higher res screen. Only question now is whether att is cool with iChat video thingy. Word is it will be called iPhone HD. iPhone 4G in 2011.

scream says:

if someone writes "don't call it 4G" one more time I am going to scream.

MarkB says:

Yeah I'll take iChat weither I use it or not it would be a nice feature but i watched the keynote they just showed only 7 of 100 new user features plus new iPhone hardware to come I think will be awesome!!! I'm defiantly happy about this

fastlane says:

Doesn't matter. It's just one more feature that won't be available in the United States. We already use too much data fetching our emails. :roll:

Jellotime91 says:

@MarkB:
actually they showed 7 tent-poles. Each tent-pole included several new features. And many of the 100 new features were listed and shown during the presentation.

Rob says:

Kinda not sure what the big fuss is about over 'video chat'. Had this on past mobiles and never used it then. I thought the idea had been dropped due to it being mostly pointless.
Maybe it's a business thing? Wouldn't be a reason I'd upgrade from a 3Gs anyway. Even the 'compass' app is more useful to me than a front facing camera XD

Ambient Rings says:

An official iChat client for iPhone might allow a lot of people to avoid using voice minutes when communicating with their friends (who, by now, probably also own iPhones). I wonder if it might overlap a lot of Skype's appeal and functionality – especially because it will likely be able to better integrate into Apple's core APIs than Skype ever could - and possible run over 3G as well?

Noodles says:

The type of video-chat Apple is putting on the iphone 4G, will only work on WiFi or a WiFi type network. Who is the only US carrier that has a WiFi type network?... Sprint, their WIMAX network (designed for mobile devices as well as computers, etc) was partly designed with a video-chat feature in mind. Apple and Sprint have been in negotiations for some time now. Yes, the iphone "4G", is going to Sprint.

Noodles says:

Forgot to mention, do not confuse yourselves with the different types of video-chats, Skype is VoIP, the type of video-chat being put on the 4G iphone, is a phone type feature with video. Sprint's HTC EVO will have a similar type of app.