"We do no market research. We don't hire consultants. The only consultants I've ever hired in my 10 years is one firm to analyze Gateway's retail strategy so I would not make some of the same mistakes they made "Of course, that's because Steve Jobs and Apple already have thirty years of experience, both good and bad, in very high-exposure marketing and consumer promotions. Also, marketing and design are really at the heart of what Apple is about and among its key competitive advantages - and it's very important not to outsource the most important parts of your company. If Apple has so little knowledge of its market that it needs to hire consultants, then it's in serious trouble - it might as well be Sony, or Creative.
In fact, if a company seems to be outsourcing something that seems central to what they do, then either 1) they're making a big mistake and are likely to suffer for it, or 2) the real heart of the company is actually something else.
For example, It's been said that the core competency and main competitive terrain of major telecom companies is lobbying lawmakers and governments - this would go a long way to explaining why they are so willing to outsource and offshore things like customer support, since customer satisfaction is really only secondary to their business.
You'll notice, when you open a box from Apple, that it says "Designed by Apple in Cupertino. Made in China." - Apple doesn't actually make computers or iPods, they design them.