Ian Lamont writes "Apple has filed a patent for IM on portable devices, which could mean that it's getting ready to launch an IM client for the iPhone. The filing is titled 'Portable Electronic Device for Instant Messaging', and covers methods for sending, receiving, and viewing ongoing conversations. The proposed GUI is similar to Apple's current interface for SMS. As for why iChat wasn't enabled for the iPhone earlier, there's some interesting background and analysis here, which also includes a discussion of AIM for the iPhone. IM also came up in the discussions last year about the most-wanted features in iPhone 2.0."