One of the bigger letdowns of the iPhone is a lack of instant messaging support. Last month we took a look at FlickIM one of the first iPhone-specific chat applications (but only for AIM). Older web chat startups Meebo and eBuddy also have their own applications. eBuddy’s is iPhone customized. Meebo doesn’t hide the fact that they will launch one soon.
Today, Mundu, an Indian web chat provider threw their hat into the ring with Mundu for the iPhone. Like other web chat clients, it connects the big guys: ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and Google.
The application consists of three different pages: log in, contacts, and chat. Clicking on a contact opens up a new conversation tab in your chat pane. It worked well enough, with a reasonable response time and legible text. It’s better than eBuddy (load time issues) and FlickIM (AIM only).
So why in the world will they eventually charge $11 for it?
There are way better ways to monetize software. Offer a free version and drop an advertisement into the conversation every once in a while, for example. But if Mundu wants to get a lot of users fast before Apple adds their own apps, they can’t be screwing around with charging customers. The marginal production cost of software is zero. That’s what the price should be.
Here’s a look at the other guys: