Before the iPhone, Apple considered building…a car?

Apple’s high-profile patent trial with Samsung kicked off this week in a northern California courtroom. And in the 5 short days, it’s already yielded some pretty interesting information.

We’ve seen early prototype designs, of both the iPhone and the iPad, and have learned some other previously-secret stuff about the company. And today, we find out about the iCar…

We’ve heard before that Steve Jobs was interested, at one point, in having Apple build a car. He even reportedly met with German car-maker Volkswagen back in 2007 to discuss the project.

But this wasn’t just Jobs’ crazy idea, this was actually something tossed around by Apple brass at one point. AllThingsD has the report from Phil Schiller’s testimony in the trial this morning.

“The iPod, Schiller said, allowed Apple to move beyond being a successful but niche player in the computer market. This really changed everybody’s view of Apple both inside and outside the company,” Schiller said on Friday, resuming testimony that began toward the end of the day on Tuesday.

People suggested all kinds of things Apple could do, Schiller recalled: “Make a camera, make a car, crazy stuff.”

Even if the iCar never comes to fruition, it’s clear that Apple still has its sites set on the auto industry. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would be partnering with several car-makers to bring Siri compatibility to the open road.

iCar huh, what do you think?