It seems odd the iPhone has no iChat client

As a Mac-user, one of the unanticipated pleasures of using an iPhone is hearing all the same alert sounds on the phone that I hear on my computer. For example, when I get new email on my iPhone, I’m alerted by the the same ping sound I hear on my Mac. And when I send e-mail, I hear the same swoosh sound as I hear on Apple mail.

Because of those — and other — things which seem so like my Mac, it seems all-the-more odd there is no iChat client on the iPhone. There are rumors of one in the pipeline and third-party browser hacks. But iChat needs to be a part of the iPhone sooner, rather than later. I can understand the economic incentive on AT&Ts part to prefer users us SMS rather than instant messaging, but there are many aspects of the iPhone that circumvent the cell-phone’s transaction-oriented business model (i.e., the complaints of no “picture mail” misses the point that it’s easy to use browser-based tools to send photos without requiring either party to pay for text-messaging charges).

Bottomline: Where’s my iChat?

Bonus link: Steve Rubel posts several ideas for making an iPhone an extension of ones computer — a “mobile nerve center,” he calls it. (Because I follow Steve on Twitter, I’ve been picking up these hints a little at a time over the past few days.)

Later: Om Malik finally breaks down and gets an iPhone and says it needs iChat — more than it needs YouTube. (However, I think the YouTube feature is rather fun and it’s the feature I first show to someone who’s under the age of 20.)