As a research student at university, I pay a reduced amount for Windows 7 Pro and Adobe CS6 (through suppliers like Software 4 Students), so I appreciate fully the difference between an individual (like myself) purchasing Adobe CS6 for 1/10th of the price of say an Advertising Agency who will use it as a tool to make money. I will play with Photoshop and Premiere Pro for my own amusement. Therefore I understand the compelling argument that commercial enterprises can afford to pay a higher price. I still do not understand though why Adobe would want to charge me - as an individual - €3,600+VAT (sales tax @21% where I live), or approximately US$5,000 for their full suite of tools.
With regards to morals & ethics, well morality is a very grey area, after all who can say definitively what is right and what is wrong, however, ethics is an entirely different matter. Ethics relates to conduct and behavior, particularly professional conduct, and it is not imho ethical to admit to customers that product A and B are identical physically, but because of a slight difference (in software), that one customer is expected to pay double. Indeed, commercial organizations do not divulge their costs to the public in detail (especially product detail), nor are they legally required to. It is also not ethical to divulge that your employer makes a product for 8 bucks and sells it for 250! Ask any HR director or personnel executive. Or worse, ask your boss!
As Neuro said above, Canon do not operate on a Cost+ basis. They sell their DSLR 'lifestyle' products (most are not targeted at Professionals but at hobbyists and serious amateur enthusiasts) to people who want particular features and are prepared to pay for them. Neuro has a 1DX and a lot of L glass, and does not really care if the 1DX cost Canon $2k to manufacture and he paid $6k for it in a store. He wanted it, so he bought it.
But getting back to the original question regarding the identical (physically) products that are controlled by different firmware. We live in a world where if you buy a product, it is yours and you can do with it what you wish. It's your property after all. Which is why most of us would agree that using Magic Lantern software on a Canon camera is legitimate - it may invalidate your manufacturer warranty - but that is your choice.
Ergo, using the last argument, if a buyer purchases a 1DX for full retail, then pays ML a $50 contribution (along with thousands of other 1DX owners) towards a bootable firmware upgrade that turns a 1DX temporarily into a 1Dc (and back again when you remove the memory card) then that is perfectly fine and legal.
Now if this does happen, is it then ethical for a TV network to buy 4 x 1DX's instead of 4 x 1Dc's and buy the firmware off of ML in an effort to reduce costs? Answer: of course it is.
So I fundamentally disagree that Canon was ethical divulging this proprietary fact that has commercial implications. There simply was no need to. Furthermore, they should have designed a slightly different body for the 1Dc such that it's physical appearance would not have prompted customers to ask in the first place.
Canon have made a faux pas here, and in the process have dangled a challenge to hackers and software developers to have a go (and they will, try at least). Now that is not in the interests of Canon Inc. shareholders.