DLBlack: It is sad news that Olympus is dumping their p&s cameras. Still for most people the smartphone/table photos are good enough and their is no need to carry multiple devices if one is good enough.
I keep hearing that P&S cameras was where the big profits were. So with P&S cameras gone then the price of high-end cameras are going to have to go up some.
The day is near that cameras and phone/tables are going to work together. It has started with wifi connectivity in cameras. The Canon N, which is extremely small has wifi might be useful if one wants a little better than a smartphone/tablet but not interchangeable lens camera. A ruggedize sprt camera with WIFI coul be userful to. Panasonic has a ruggedize sport camer with wifi. So there is a place for a P&S camera but it is not your regular p&s camera. It has been replace by the smartphone/tablet.
Though this is more in addition to your comment; I also wonder how different these cameras really are. I really can't shake the idea all these companies are buying from a third party, slapping their name on the front and their software on the screen, and call it their own. Last year's tough camera looks like this year's nikon waterproof model. I think the real lesson is they are no longer blowing money on manufacturing these POS P&S cameras at all, saving money. I can't fault them for slimming down their business to what sells, and eliminating what does not.
Timmbits: Olympus needs to introduce a larger sensor pocketable camera, and larger sensors in their larger cameras. The omdem5 is nice, but competition from other mirrorless manufacturers offers larger APSC sensors in the same size/form factor or even smaller than the omdem5. Sadly, Olympus may not have the R&D funds to recover from their strategic mistakes - nor have the will to step on their own ego to admit them. But if they don't bite the bullet, they may have to sell off their camera division or risk becoming another Casio (as far as cameras are concerned)... but who would want to buy it? No one needs their low end, and pretty much the only one that could use MFT is Casio as they are the only manufacturer absent from the large sensor space.
The only problem with larger sensors in the bigger cameras is that their entire lens system is based on focusing light on t a 4/3 sensor, not the wider (20% larger) APS-C size sensor. They would have to remake every lens. I don't foresee them making that move based on past events and current behavior.
Large point and shoot camera sensor, cheap point and shoot look, and a proprietary hot shoe. Wow, this insults Nikon users more than the first one in this series. At least Canon has more sense to use an APS-C sensor.