offering the image qualities that approaches SLR cameras
yet more crippling
Not sure how anyone gets the idea any "crippling" is going on, if you read the whole article and take the quote in context. It seems more that they are making the point that image quality in Powershot and other small sensor cameras is improving and approaching the quality that has been previously available only in SLRs.
And please, let's not start another flame war over image quality. The quality is getting better across the spectrum, so yes, larger sensors will continue to outperform smaller ones, but the margins are shrinking.
Some things I found interesting:
Sales in office equipment are down so Canon may be relying on Camera sales to offset those losses. I hope that doesn't mean the camera division has to cross-subsidize office equipment, but I'm afraid it might.
They barely mentioned video, yet in the last year Canon seems to have gone all-in on its digital video products. This was a talk to investors and the investment media, so not sure why they didn't hype Canon's major play for the professional cinema market.
They talked about new consumer DSLR products, but not really sure what they are referring to, since they haven't updated their consumer DSLRs.
No mention at all of cell phone competition. Did they just not want to bring it up? Seems to me like the elephant in the room when you talk about Powershots. I'm guessing the "image quality approaching SLR cameras" emphasis is driven largely by cell phone/tablet competition, but kind of funny that they didn't just come right out and say something to the effect that they intend to grow the market by offering quality that can't be matched in multi-purpose devices.
All-in-all though, I'm glad to see a generally optimistic outlook. If Canon makes money, it means more fun stuff for us.