Then there was their mirrorless entry. A lackluster clone in a new market which already has some serious contenders in it. For the moment there is no good reason to buy the Canon mirrorless over others outside the brand, and brand can only take you so far when your primary target is new customers..
I find this a nearly startling characterization of the new Canon M. A lackluster clone? I'll bet a 1DX to your little Powershot that Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Fuju and even Nikon are not singing that song. If you want to say it's lackluster, you'd better bring some facts. Also, what's your basis for saying the primary target market is "new customers"?
I'd define new customers as people who have no experience with Canon cameras. That, I think, is a pretty hard sell and making that a primary market would seem suicidal. If there is any primary market, I think it's mostly people who have some experience with point & shoot cameras, many of them Canon Powershots. The M can tempt them to step up to genuine SLR performance in a package they're familiar with. A vast secondary market consists of all of us who have Canon lenses and already know great images can be produced by that 18MP sensor. Suddenly, there's a simple little camera that is compatible with every EOS lens we already have. That's called a major competitive advantage. How do you get that with Sony? Olympus? And Canon lenses are the world's best general market lenses. If I were in the market for something like the Powershot S100 today, I'd be hard pressed not to go with the M instead. The slight size increase, with say the new 40mm lens, would be hard to ignore given the image quality and versatility advantages.
While somehow you see this as "lackluster," competitors see this as Canon leveraging their market dominance, and you better believe they don't see it as lackluster. I also see it as Canon's first step down the road to totally eliminating the mirror-based DSLR. If I were working the camera floor at Best Buy, I'd be overjoyed with the Canon M. What a great alternative to offer buyers!
Let's wait and see what other "lackluster" offerings this current Canon leadership brings us.