It certainly appears that Apple is working on and prototyping an instant messaging client for future version of iPhone OS. Text strings found in the latest iPhone OS 3.2 beta appear to reference “ChatKit” which was an Objective-C based IM client framework developed by Adium but since left for dead.
The strings found in the SDK reveal that a future IM client developed by Apple might allow users to send pictures (similar to iChat) and would have a similar interface to the included Messages (SMS and MMS) app on the iPhone. The triggering indication of Apple working on an IM client in this text string is the references to the phrase “Buddy Messages.”
While this possible future IM client similar to iChat, with the User Interface of the iPhone Messages app, is referred to within the SDK’s core files, there is no IM client on the iPhone OS 3.2 simulator. Apple may very well be working on an IM client to work hand in hand with their Push Notification system on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch but only time will tell if this ever happens.