Apple raised prices across the board last year. You may have noticed.

apple store
AP

In 2016, the starting price of Apple's newest iPhone, the iPhone 7, was $649.

iPhone 7 and iphone 7 plus
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

In 2017, the starting price of the most affordable new iPhone, the iPhone 8, moved up to $699, a 7% increase from the year prior.

iPhone 8 and iphone 8 plus
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

In 2018, Apple raised the starting price of its most affordable new iPhone yet again. The iPhone XR costs $749 — a 7% jump from 2017 and a 15% increase from 2016.

iphone xr colors
YouTube/MKBHD

In 2017, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro started at $649.

ipad pro keyboard
Steve Kovach/Tech Insider

In 2018, the new 11-inch iPad Pro started at $799, a 23% increase from 2017.

ipad pro
Apple

In 2017, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro started at $799.

ipad pro with apple pencil
Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

In 2018, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro started at $999, a 25% increase from 2017.

iPad Pro
Bebeto Matthews/AP

In 2017, the Mac Mini had a starting price of $499.

mac mini
Apple

In 2018, the Mac Mini's starting price moved up to $799, a 60% increase from the last model.

mac mini 2018
Dave Smith/Business Insider

In 2017, the MacBook Air had a starting price of $999.

macbook air
Apple

In 2018, the MacBook Air's starting price rose to $1,199, a 20% increase from 2017.

Macbook Air
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

In 2017, the Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS had a starting price of $329.

Apple Watch Series 3
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

In 2018, the Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS had a starting price of $399, a 21% increase from the last model.

Apple Watch Series 4
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In 2017, an Apple Watch Series 3 with both GPS <i>and</i> cellular had a starting price of $399.

Apple Watch Series 3
Issei Kato/Reuters

In 2018, the Apple Watch Series 4 with both GPS and cellular started at $499, a 25% increase.

Apple Watch Series 4
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The price hikes targeted Apple's most affordable offerings. Apple's cheapest iPhone, the $350 iPhone SE, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/apple-iphone-se-vs-iphone-xs-2018-9"target="_blank">was removed from the lineup</a>.

iphone se
Business Insider/Steve Kovach

More niche or expensive products, like the Apple TV and iMac Pro — which start at $150 and $5,000 — kept their prices the same.

iMac Pro
Kif Leswing

The price hikes make sense from Apple's perspective.

Tim Cook
AP

The cost of innovating is high, and making futuristic devices with expensive components, like the iPhone X with its OLED screen, is costlier than it was before.

iPhone X
Hollis Johnson

But it really doesn't matter what the reason is for Apple's price hikes. The bottom line is that Apple can afford to raise prices because people will still buy Apple products anyway.

apple iphone apple store
AP

Many people are happy to pay extra for Apple products because they believe they're getting extra quality. Apple is a unique tech company in that it controls the hardware, software, and services across all its devices, as well as the in-store experience. Lots of people like that.

apple store dubai 3
Apple

Apple fandom is also a thing. Some people buy all the latest Apple products because they love the company and want to own every single new product from it. Price doesn't matter much to those customers.

apple fan think different shaved head
CoPilot Live via Flickr

The Apple brand is also huge around the world. As with Nike and its "swoosh," prices seem to automatically go up if a product has Apple's logo on it. Apple is technology, but it's also fashion.

apple store brussels 1
Apple

Raising prices is psychological, too. When the product's price goes up, fewer people are likely to buy it, making it rarer and creating a "wow" effect when you see it in the wild. Maybe it makes you jealous because you wish you had more money to buy that Apple product.

iPhone XS Max
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Apple's pricing strategy probably won't change anytime soon. After all, making innovative products isn't getting any cheaper, and Apple's brand is still desirable among people of all ages.

apple store china night
Nigel Young/Foster + Partners

Still, that doesn't mean Apple's recent price hikes are justified from a consumer standpoint.

tim cook
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

To quickly summarize the price hikes for Apple products in 2018:

  • The cheapest new iPhone is 7% more expensive than it was in 2017, and 15% more costly than it was in 2016.
  • The two iPad Pro models experienced price hikes of 23% and 25%.
  • The 2018 Apple Watch models are 21% or 25% more expensive than the new watches from 2017, depending on which model you buy.
  • The MacBook Air got a 20% price hike.
  • The Mac Mini got a 60% price hike.
  • Even the new Apple Pencil, released in 2018, is 30% more expensive than the previous model.

Did the value of these products increase in the same way their prices did? Not necessarily. But as long as people keep paying for them, Apple has little reason to change its strategy in 2019 or beyond.