A developer named John Heaton has found a number of code strings in Apple’s iOS that suggests there will be new IM services coming, including the company’s own iChat.The code strings in question, displayed above, indicate a service that it similar to iChat, according to 9to5mac. At the very least, Apple is considering support for additional instant messaging services, according to the report.
The code strings also mention a number of instant messaging standards such as the Apple-developed iMessage, FaceTime (also Apple’s), Jabber and AIM.
Apple has been rumored in the past to plan a Mac version of iMessage. And knowing how the company likes to unify the experience for every user (e.g. bringing FaceTime to Mac OS X), I wouldn’t consider it far fetched to see iChat make it on iOS.
In fact, iOS has always been missing a first-party IM client. The least Apple could do is port iChat to the iPad.