It may sound silly but the target customers of Rebel or EOS-B usually don't care about number of AF points or quality of sensor - price and gimmicks are more important. I saw it on myself and my family / friends. Rebel users can be in my opinion divided into three groups:
- First time DSLR users who will never uncover full potential of their entry level camera. They will use as much auto features as possible - auto focus, auto focus point selection, auto white balance, auto exposition (and scenic modes later), auto ISO jpg, etc.
- Few users from the first group will go deeper, find limitation of their camera it the area of their interest and some of them will look for upgrade. I count myself into this group.
- More skilled users who are looking for second / third DSLR body where the main requirement is size / weight or who are looking for a camera for their family members (that goes back to the first group).
If you don't know anything about DSLR, MP count may be something you will compare in product lists but when it comes to hands-on comparison all those gimmicks matters. The reason why I bought Rebel T4i as my first camera was because my friends use Canon (= recommendation) and because of ergonomics. It feels better in my hands than Nikon and it has a stellar feature - the touch screen. That is the WOW feature when I show my camera to my friends. Nobody cares what sensor do I have or how many AF points my camera have because they usually have older models which are sufficient for their needs but all of them see huge benefit in touch screen because the user experience in handling the camera settings and browsing / zooming images is what mass market in 2013 expects. The touch screen will be the only feature I will miss after upgrading to better model (6D).
If Canon adds WiFi to entry level model to make syncing images to tablet or smartphone straightforward, Nikon and others will IMHO not be impressive by their technology but only by their price because Canon is usually more expensive.
Btw. I don't believe that 18 MP or 24 MP makes any big difference in cameras mostly used with kit lenses and images used for small prints or web presentations (with no post production at all).