It's well-understood (or at least widely reported) that P&S sales account for vastly more sales and profits than DSLR's, even with much lower profit margin
I love how people state assumptions as facts. I have this old cheat sheet of phrase translations for scientific writing; a couple of those phrases apply here:
- "It's well undersood..." = "I think..."
- "It's widely believed..." = "A couple other people think so, too..." (It's an old sheet - today, "I read it on the Internet..." is probably more apt.)
So, P&S sales account for more profit than dSLR sales? Do you have evidence to support this claim? I'm going to guess no...and I'm saying that because Canon has presented that the true situation is the opposite of what you state - and getting more opposite by the quarter. The screenshot below is a slide from Canon's 3Q11 financial presentation (that's the most recent one posted, you can find them all here
), and I've highlighted the relevant part with a red oval.
According to Canon, in 3Q11, dSLR sales accounted for 29% of units sold, but 72% of revenue from camera sales. If you look back historically (presentation materials at the link above), you can see that over the past several years, both the dSLR percentage of units sold and the percentage of camera revenue from dSLR sales has increased substantially (for example, 5 years previous to to 3Q11, dSLRs accounted for 12% of units and 34% of revenue).
On a side note, if you look at those numbers - more than a 100% increase in dSLR share of camera sales and revenue over the past 5 years - and also consider the overall dSLR market share, which went from a near tie to Canon dominating, it's easy to see how Canon could (and arguably should) feel that they have had a winning strategy for the past several years, and thus easy to see how they can justify sticking to that same strategy. I'm not saying they should
do that, but that's definitely the easy road, especially for a conservative company.