Why is Canon wasting time on products like this? I'm sure the majority of prospective purchasers would be more than satisfied with the current crop of cell phone cameras. I'd like to see Canon develop a top tier FF mirrorless camera or a high megapixel MF mirrorless camera, rather than catering to the low end of the market. Canon has the resources, marketing cachet and technical know how to do this, but lack only the willpower.
Ehm, I do not think Canon "waste time" on anything. If they build it, it is because they (with extensive marketing research) believe that they will earn so much money on this product, that they will get their investment of time and money in developing it back, and then some.
And I agree with them. I think the superzooms will have a market for the foreseeable future. Unlike short-zoom compacts, no mobile phones can double as a superzoom, so their market is not threatened. On the contrary, the mobile phone size sensors are developing rapidly because of the size of THAT market, so the superzooms can make use of that and focus on developing the rest of the camera. Basically just stick an iPhone sensor in to a better housing with a much better lens.
I am at least hoping that Canon will try to increase the speed of their offering, both in handling and lens. throw a Digic 7 in there and have a 24-1600mm eq. lens that starts at 2.8, maybe to 4.5? That would take them directly to the top of the superzooms again. And I would buy it.