You’re not seriously telling me Apple didn’t want and try to make $1000+ the new mainstream price, are you?
The fact that they always planned to have a lower tier version of the iPhone, does not mean that they planned to make that the most popular version.
Plus: The Naming is a bit of a giveaway. The XS followed the normal naming strategy for their mainstream device. Ordinary, its replacement would be called the iPhone 11. But it wasn’t. Instead, the replacement for the XR is given the iPhone 11 tag.
We’ve gone from having the main iPhone (the XS) and a cheaper alternative (the XR) to having the main iPhone (the iPhone 11) and a more expensive ‘Pro’ version.