There's a myth out there that Apple does not do marketing research. This is nonsense, of course, but seems to have tremendous staying power.
I saw something today that pretty much proves they conduct research -- they might call it product development, or usability, or ergonomic, or whatever, but it's research into what people want, what they like, what is comfortable for them.
When you test 124 different prototypes on 600 people, that's research. Good companies do it. Including Apple.