After a big delay due to the ongoing health crisis, Apply finally unveiled what could be their final hardware lineup for 2020. Last month, despite rumours about its surprise reveal, the iPhone 12 was not included in the "Time Flies" event. Fast forward to October, electronic invites were sent to journalists last week for another online-only show called "Hi, Speed." Exactly as leaked by reliable sources, the HomePod Mini, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max made their debut.

What took the tech industry by surprise was the apparent accuracy of the leaks. A few months ago, reports hinted that the iPhone 12 series will no longer include EarPods and a charger in the box. Others likewise pointed out a new design, 5G connectivity, and the introduction of MagSafe technology for wireless charging. However, despite being teased during the iPad Air 4 showcase, it appears Touch ID is not on board this time around.

Apple's Face ID has been the go-to security option for iOS users ever since the company did away with the fingerprint sensor on some of its devices. So far, it functions as intended without minimal issues reported, but some owners still prefer the reliability of Touch ID. Due to the current circumstances wherein people are instructed to wear face masks in public, the facial recognition algorithm is unable to properly identify individuals.

For those who were wondering as to why Apple was not bringing back Touch ID considering the challenges with Face ID amid the pandemic, CNET appears to have the answer. According to supply chain insiders, it normally takes the company anywhere between a year or up to 18 months to develop new devices. This means the final production model specifications and functionalities of the iPhone 12 was already finalised even before the health crisis caught the world off guard.

iPhone 12 series launch without Touch ID
In this photo released by Apple, Apple CEO Tim Cook holds up the all-new iPhone 12 Pro during an Apple event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California on October 13, 2020 Apple Inc. / Brooks KRAFT

Although the iPhone 12 catalogue missed out on a useful feature, most tech pundits suggest Touch ID might return by the time the next handset models become available. Similar to the iPad Air 4, Apple's product development team could embed the fingerprint into the power button or maybe a dedicated section on the frame.