Is there any way to use iMessages on an iPhone 3G?
I believe the latest OS it can upgrade to is 4 something, so that might rule out official support by Apple, but what about a 3rd party solution?
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4.2.1 is officially the latest supported version for the iPhone 3G, but you can supposedly install iOS 5 on it with this method: http://osxdaily.com/2012/01/19/install-ios-5-on-iphone-3g-with-whited00r-5/
In the video, it shows the Messages app on the homescreen, so that ought to work for you.