Q: On the iPhone 3G is there a way to send photos via text message instead of through email? If not, has Apple mentioned any possibility of this in the future?
A: The feature you are thinking of is Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), and is unfortunately not supported by the iPhone at all, even with the current model and firmware version.
Whether or not this will be supported directly by Apple in the future is uncertain, but it would seem that the current lack of it even in the v2.0 firmware implies that this is not a high priority for Apple.
It is possible a third-party application from the App Store may be able to provide some MMS support, but as of this writing, no such apps exist.
If your goal is simply to send an MMS message to somebody else’s phone because they do not have e-mail support, the simplest way to do this from the iPhone is to send the message via e-mail to their carrier’s MMS Gateway.
Most cellular providers have an e-mail domain to convert e-mail messages into MMS. For example, if you wanted to send an MMS to an AT&T subscriber with a phone number like 917-555-1212, you would simply send an e-mail message from your iPhone, addressed to 9175551212 @ mms.att.net.