"Kobiety mają jabłko."
Translation:The women have an apple.
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Imagine the first solution started with an "a"… but you can't put indefinite article for plural, so you just drop it.
Both solutions are correct, since Polish has no definite/indefinite distinction usually (in Polish we would use words equivalent to "this/that" and "some/any" to express that concept, but only when it is absolutely required in the context to avoid confusion).
No, "kobiete" surely wasn't correct for "women", plural. Firstly, "kobiete" is not exactly a word, it should be "kobietę" with an -ę at the end. It's the Accusative form of "kobieta", meaning "a woman". Used for example in "Widzę kobietę" = "I see a woman".
"kobiety" is "women", plural. In Nominative (as here) form as well as in Accusative ("Widzę kobiety" = "I see women").