One school of thought is that if your product flies off the shelves with its introductory price, you've left money on the table (i.e. forfeit potential profit). You price the product at the highest level the early-adopter market will bear, then adjust the price over time to reach equilibrium with demand from the broader target market.
If a buyer passes on the G1XII saying, "I can get a DSLR with kit lens for that price," and buys a Rebel/XXXD, Canon has succeeded (sales figures show that it will likely be a Canon DSLR). Canon even comes out ahead because now the buyer is in the ILC system and will be buying more lenses.
Those who want the form factor of the G1XII at any price will buy it. Those who won't pay that price and don't want a DSLR will wait for the price to come down. Naturally, there will be some who purchase something else rather than wait for price drops, but in general, Canon's pricing strategy seems to be smart (in my opinion) and the best way to maximize profit over the lifespan (and price-span) of the product.
Of course, estimating what that top-tier price should be relative to the early-adopter market is just that -- estimating. Sales figures will influence how long or short that introductory price survives...
One last thought: Whether we personally experience this or not, in general, consumers often relate price to quality, where a high price evokes superior quality -- especially with a company like Canon and its reputation. The introductory price sets the benchmark against which all "sale" prices will be compared. Seeing a camera that was introduced at $849 on sale for $649 seems (in the consumer's eye) like a greater deal than a camera introduced at $699 on sale for $649.