Apple news site AppleInsider.com uncovered an interesting filing from Steve Jobs and the gang that dates back to November of last year, but apparently has gone unnoticed until now.
According to the paperwork, Apple is working on a way for iPhone users to transmit data, like text messages, over voice channels, somewhat similar to Nextel's walktie-talkie mode. As it stands now, sending a text messages relies on a wireless carrier's backend server.
"With the rapid deployment, proliferation, and technical advancement of mobile personal communication devices, such as cell phones, a user of these devices is presented with any number of ways to communication with another user," Apple wrote in the filing. "For example, a user can send a text message using, for example, Short Message Service-Point to Point (SMS-PP) protocol as defined in GSM recommendation 03.40 where messages are sent via a store-and forward mechanism to a Short Message Service Center (SMSC), which will attempt to send the message to the recipient and possibly retry if the user is not reachable at a given moment. Therefore, SMS-PP requires the use of a backend server to provide the necessary support for transmission of data between sender and receiver."
What Apple's proposing is a system where data is transferred back and forth by way of a voice channel only, bypassing the backend server altogether. It gets a little geeky from there, all of which you can read right here .