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

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

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • First!!! And this would be AWESOME!!! I can't wait for WWDC to see what the next iPhone is going to have to offer!!!
  • I would like to have it, but it's not a dealbreaker. Maybe it'd be more desirable on LTE than 3G.
  • I'll take it either way because you could still use it on WiFi.
  • 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
  • It is iPhone 4Gen so 4G seems right for now, unless otherwise re-branded [ HD or something ]
  • @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.
  • 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.
  • if someone writes "don't call it 4G" one more time I am going to scream.
  • 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
  • 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:
  • @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.
  • 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
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.