You can certainly argue that Apple is making a strategic branding mistake by making more expensive products. But it simply wasn’t an option to sell the iPhone X/XS as it exists for iPhone 7 prices.
I disagree. It is true that Apple isn’t allowing prices to dictate the limits of innovation and it is true that Apple is allowing its 3 year old products (iPad mini 4, AppleTV (non 4K) and iPhone 7 to stick around for buyers who can’t justify or can’t afford to buy Apple’s 2018 products but to say Apple couldn’t sell an iPhone XS for less is not true.
If I wasn’t making what I make per year, I couldn’t remain an Apple Fanboy. Apple has priced itself out of affordability for those of us who always bought everything it made. Buying everything Apple released in 2018 would cost someone 14-18K dollars more than most people spend on housing, transport and food for their family. It used to be that you could spend 4-5K a year and stay up to speed with what Apple released. I spent all of my disposable income on Apple this year and am still running an iMac from 2 years ago.
Apple’s products were always premium. Apple’s cutting edge products are luxury.