Maybe the 70D gets a new sensor... Remember the 450D? The 40D only had 10 MP, the 450D got a new sensor with 12 MP and the 50D a new sensor with 15 MP. The 70D is going to be around for the next two years thus the "old" sensor with 18 MP makes no sense to me. Maybe we see 20 or 22 MP.
Haven't realized that until you mentioned it... the EOS-M has 31 points with 9 cross type focus points. It seems that canon is finally upgrading it's AF to compete with Nikon. Hopefully we see something like that in the 70D as well (maybe 45 AF points of which 19 are cross type AF points). I don't know but I think Canon used such an AF for the 1D III, thus the technology is developed (at least for APS-H). Since the 1D X and the 5D III are using the new 61 point AF system (and it is rumored that the next 7D will use it as well) there is enough room for an advanced AF for the 70D.
This means there are even more reasons why Canon had to release the firmware update for the 7D.
Coming back to the rumor of an entry level FF DSLR - IMO the "EOS 9D"
- why should it get the AF of the 7D or 70D? An AF with 9 cross type AF points would be an improvement over the AF of the 5D II and it would be cheaper as well. Don't forget that the gap between the entry level FF and the 5D III must be big enough, otherwise this new FF DSLR will cannibalize the sales of the 5D too much (remember the effect the 5D II had on the sales of the 1Ds III).
This camera would be a cash cow, using cheap materials and parts of other DSLRs to maximize profits:
- 18 MP sensor of the 1D X
- Improved AF of the 5D II with 9 instead of only one central cross type AF point
- The firmware will limit the ISO range to 25600 (ISO boost to 51200)
- Polycarbonate Body with articulating screen (great for macro and when using a tripod)
- 4 fps and a burst of 15 raw images
- maybe not even a top-panel LCD display to further reduce costs
- SD/SDHC/SDXC instead of CompactFlash