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AOL demos iPhone chat app

AOL's AIM will be the first "official" chat application for the iPhone. Does that mean Google contacts will be accessible too?

Updated 3:50 p.m. PST to clarify that AOL was first Web chat app chosen for iPhone demo, but may not be the only one to run on it.

AOL's AIM chat application just got a major boost--it's the first "official" native Web chat application for the iPhone.

AIM on the iPhone was demonstrated earlier on Thursday at Apple's announcement of the iPhone software development kit in Cupertino, Calif.

AOL was chosen to build a test version of AIM for the iPhone in two weeks, Apple said at the event. No word on when iPhone users will be able to use it. Poll

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The AIM on iPhone application offers a buddy list, the ability to easily toggle among multiple instant-messaging conversations with a finger swipe and the option of using a photo on your iPhone as your buddy icon.

With AIM being the top IM client, it's no wonder Apple chose AOL over Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google. But it's got to be a snub to Google, its partner on other iPhone applications.

AIM, meanwhile, is interoperable with Google Talk, so maybe I'll be able to get to my Google contacts on the iPhone like I can via Gmail.

AIM has about 50 percent of the IM market, followed by MSN/Windows Live Messenger with about 33 percent, Yahoo Messenger with about 30 percent and Google Talk with about 2.5 percent, according to Nielsen Online. The figures are close estimates based on the percentage audience each IM application has of a total unique audience. That's why the percentages of market share add up to more than 100 percent.