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iChatAgent process shows up in iPhone OS 4.0 -- video conferencing coming?


As expected, Apple didn't introduce any new iPhone hardware today; knowing Steve Jobs & co., they still want to save some surprises when they unveil the 4G iPhone later this summer. Could one of those surprises be a front-facing camera with iChat support?

Close TUAW reader AW sent us this screen shot that shows an iChatAgent process showing up in iStat ($0.99 in the App Store) on an iPhone running the new iPhone OS 4.0 SDK. The process is new to iPhone OS 4.0 and it suggests that Apple plans to implement iChat on the phone in some form.

It seems unlikely that Apple would merely introduce an instant messaging app without support for video conferencing. Although a front-facing camera on the iPhone has been rumored from time to time and it's one of the most requested hardware features for the iPhone, battery drain during video conferencing is always a concern on a mobile device.

If Apple has found a way to support multitasking without significant battery drain, it's possible that mobile video conferencing battery drain has been overcome as well.

UPDATE: another screen shot from within Activity Monitor (sent to us by reader Mr. X) after the break.

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