this is the key a lot of people are missing. I know i started my system with canon because i saw that they led the professional market with their flagship cameras. I wanted to a) join a company that would allow me to (in my dreams) give me a camera to work up to and b) know im using the same brand as the pros.
if they lose the flagship market, selling their cheaper models wont be as easy.This doesn't surprise me at all, as the world economy continues to turn around and disposable income goes up Canon needs sales to fund R&D for the next generation. The 1Ds has never sold in great numbers and releasing a new $6 - $8K body that will NOT sell in great numbers probably doesn't make financial sense right now.
Yet there are a group of elite users that demand such a camera. These users also tend to have the coin to drop on 10K+ of lenses, multiple bodies, and CPS memberships. Also, people that use such a camera are influencers, a good word from them or some excellent work made by can build sales for Canon on the low end.
No one said Canon should abandon their flagships, what I think they're doing is looking at the high-end market and seeing that they don't NEED to upgrade their flagship at this time since the 1DsIII is still very competitive with the competition. Also it makes more sense to wait until we're closer to a D4x release so Nikon doesn't have a year to study Canon's new flagship which is what happened with the D3x.