Apple filled a patent for the “Portable Electronic Device for Instant Messaging” at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on March, 6th.
The filling was made even if in the same day Apple announced the test version of AOL’s chat program as the first “official” native chat program.
While the patents seems to cover also the SMS, Apple stated that it is intended only for web-based Instant Messaging.
The iPhone photo is copyrighted by Apple Inc.
Apple’s site: http://www.apple.com/;
iPhone official site: http://www.apple.com/iphone/;
Apple patent request: http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20080055269.PGNR.&OS=DN/20080055269&RS=DN/20080055269.