There's an obvious difference between "a cheaper phone" and making the range as affordable as it was five years ago - instead of relying on so-called luxury branding while offering very little extra and annoying customers with product issues (missing headphone jack, BatteryGate, etc) and mediocre software updates.
Apple doesn't have an iPhone problem. Apple has an Apple problem.
It's at least possible (who knows for sure...?) that if Jobs were still alive Apple would have opened up at least a couple of innovative new product lines by now - not just gimmicks like Watch, but new "I didn't know I wanted that, but now I see it I obviously do" products, with supporting services and industry partners, all pitched at the affordable-at-a-push level that Apple products originally lived in.
This is where Cook has failed. There's nothing new on the table. Putting up prices is a short-term tactic. So is "a cheap phone".
What Apple needs is a coherent and impressive long-term strategy, and investors aren't seeing that.
Well of course Apple, and every other company needs that. But hoping for a savior is not a plan.
Now it's just like, "Why'd they take off the ports on this laptop? It's a weird brown color. And two of the keys don't work, already."
To make it worse, everything is the same. You can't tell anything apart? Is this the Air? Wait, it's the old Pro? Which watch is this? Is this the XR or the XS? What's the difference?
Microsoft is sitting on such an amazing ecosystem and it feels like they just don't know how to tie it all together sometimes.