If the rumored pricing of the A77 and new lens are correct, it’s clear that Sony have decided it’s time to take on Canon and Nikon and price aggressively. What that means is buying customers by offering a built-in discount within the list price.
Everybody in business knows that the money is in the backend – the repeat sales, extras, accessories. Ford makes more money from finance than it does from cars. It’s why businesses will give good commission to anybody who will get them a new customer.
The SLR ‘enthusiast’ part of the camera market has lots of ‘backend’ and the lifetime value of a customer must be pretty large for enthusiast cameras. Get a photography enthusiast into your system and you create the possibility to sell lenses, flashguns, spare batteries and maybe a regular camera body upgrade. And Thom Hogan says the $700-1500 segment of the camera market is the most profitable, which presumably is what gives Sony the leeway to price aggressively.
So, if Sony are buying customers, are you willing to be bought? I might be. And of course I’d never be tempted by any ‘backend’ such as the attractive 35mm f1.8.