I have a different theory
During the announcement season (now) people are buying less gear, because they are waiting for the new stuff. So, retailers are lowering prices just to maintain decent sales. There is -10% discount at the local store for ALL Canon products till the end of the month. Can you predict anything based on that? Like if there is something coming it will be next month? BTW, they (the store) are making various discounts all the time, but the new gear is not coming because of that.
Actually, this makes sense to me. The price drops seem to be coming from individual stores and not from a system-wide cut by Canon. It could just be an indication of retailers trying to move stock. Also, remember retailers are just as susceptible to bad rumors as the people on this site.
They don't want to get caught with "old" merchandise, so they may be trying to move stock now. Keep in mind that they don't know any more about when Canon might announce something than you do, they just get worried and decide they better try to move some product. Could be for a variety of other reasons as well: improve their third quarter sales numbers, try to generate sales of accessory items, "our competitor just cut the price, they must know something," etc.
As for the rebates, well...if they are typical they'll require that the retailers raise the starting price to the MSRP and take the discount from that. We know from past experience that such rebates don't necessarily translate into bargains for consumers. (Update: At least one other site has pegged the rebate at $100 for the 5D)
Finally, I go back to my alternative theory: IF canon is behind the price cuts (and I don't see any evidence that they are) it could be a signal that a 5D Mk III is NOT coming anytime soon. They may want to flood the market in order to stop competitors from gaining market share and to buy them time until they release a new model next year.
Think about it. Why would Canon entice people to buy the 5D MkII now and then introduce a new model a month later? That only does two things:
- It expends the consumer's discretionary dollars, undermining the sales and launch of the new model and;
- it's bad PR when consumers whine that they just bought a MkII and now a month later a new model comes out.
I know that this site is filled with people who read the tea leaves trying to find signs that confirm what they want to believe. I just suggest everyone take a deep breath and consider some simple alternative explanations.