I see Nikon using Sony sensors, and Sony itself is using its new sensors in its new well-received bodies, and I read people discussing how the Canon sensors seem to be falling behind.
I wonder if Canon will reach a kind of "Apple Moment", like when Apple quit spending its R&D money trying to beat Intel on a component (CPU's) and started just using Intel chips like everyone else.
As was pointed out earlier, Apple never built their own chips. Also, Intel aren't the only company who manufactures x86 chips.
Apple made a number of smart business decisions and released several very successful products (imac, ipod, OS X) after Jobs took the helm in 98 (and well before they adopted the intel architecture in 2005)
One of the problems with having Canon drop sensors is that most of the companies who build sensors are either their competition, or companies who would like to become their competition.
Canon makes better lenses than Nikon, and could focus on staying ahead on that. They could/should take a page from the perfectionist Steve Jobs, and focus on addressing all the 1000 little niggling customer gripes and wishes about cameras, and making Canons just work better and smoother than Nikon (or Sony). Outclass the competition by thinking of everything, and including it; and by not withholding simple little crap in hardware and firmware that they could instead make standard in all their cameras for very little cost.
Providing nicer products is always a worthy goal, but the Apple way is not to push high end functionality down to low end models so that users of said low end models may aspire to have high end functionality made available at the low end price. Rather it would be to simplify and clean their product lineup by simply eliminating those "tweener" product lines so that these users are left to choose between (for example) the Rebel and the 5D.
Another lesson from Apple, by the way, is that they have never been leaders from a pure price to performance standpoint. Instead, they always lived or died by the idea that users would pay a premium (in some cases a fairly hefty premium) for a well crafted product.
Canon have an analogous though not identical approach -- their plan is essentially to build a compelling system. A good system is not just about sensor performance. It is a comprehensive product line, which includes professional grade support, bodies, lenses, and even printers. The only other manufacturer who can play in the same ballpark at present is Nikon.
Canon has the part about "not leading from a pure price to performance standpoint" and "charging a premium" down pat. Do they have the all-important counterbalancing point about superior user-experience/funcionality sewed up, or are they resting on the security of having people heavily committed/invested in its lenses not being able to switch easily? In the face of real competition to its market share, Canon should compete by being better for the same price, just as is standard practice in all consumer goods. If you can steal a march against Nikon by putting better firmware into a lower model body, DO IT. And how much could AMFA really cost to include??
Other than being bitter, having a hard time figuring your logic. The mk3 is selling quite well as are canon models in general. I think you got it right for nikon though. Niokon is smaller than canon and has been trying to catch up over the past 5 years. I'm not sure if the d800 is priced the way it is due to outsourcing the sensor from sony, or, maybe nikon is trying to undercut canon by selling a product at close to a loss (or, maybe sony is taking a loss on the sensor just to get it out there). Either way, the mk3 is holding its own. Amazon is one of the only sites i have found that publish this data and keep it up to date. Since release, both the d800 and the mk3 have been in the top 20, more often than not in the top 10. As i write this post, the d800 is at 11th, and the mk3 is at 8th.
So I'm really kind of wondering why canon would listen to you and drop prices? If they were in trouble, they would. Hell, I don't even see them scrambling to get a media campaign together to get people on board with the 5d series. What I do see canon doing is preparing to launch new lenses and new bodies. Your post describes canon as a company that sinking in quick sand, and they better listen to you or else...or else what? Sounds to me like listening to you would be a good way for canon to destroy their business. Would the mk3 sell at $2999, sure. Would the complainers still complain? Yes. Hell, if they released it at $1999 I'm sure people would still complain! Bottom line is if you want the best studio landscape cam out there then the mk3 may not be the best choice for you. Suck it up, stay on your current gear and wait, or make the decision and sell your gear to invest in nikon. Those are your choices. I made mine - I bought my mk3 a few weeks ago and it is a joy to use. The files are just awesome to work with, and the high ISO capabilities are just plain outrageous!