As I said in an earlier post, if the rumors of Nikon's entry into mirrorless cameras are true, and they will implement a super-small sensor, then Nikon is saying that cheap interchangeable lens cameras are catering to the compact market. This is, apparently, Nikon's explicit position now.
I already explained why I think that this is wrong, but I'll go over it again. Nikon is wrong in saying that people who buy compacts will move up to an interchangeable system. The biggest variable in consideration in almost every market survey for those buying a compact is its size. After that it's style, then ergonomics. The TOP THREE variables in consideration are the three variables that compacts, by their very nature, are better than SLR and 4/3's cameras. I wish I could provide a link to this, but the survey's are done by Cnet.com.
That is, of course, only if Nikon is referring to, as I put it, the Club Crowd. These are the common point-&-shoot buyers who take photos of themselves at clubs and upload them to Facebook. Perhaps, instead, they're referring to the enthusiast who buys cameras like the Olympus XZ-1, Panasonic LX5, and Nikon P7000. These are people who are willing to plunk down $500 or more on a compact. If that's the case, then Nikon's proposition is a bit more believable.
But still unlikely! If 4/3's was stealing exclusively from that demographic, the market would be incredibly small. So small, in fact, that there would be no reason to enter it. The only way that a market with cameras that cost, at minimum, $500 is going to succeed is if it goes after people who were already spending that much, and that means SLR sales. Moreover, I find it no surprise that Amazon.com groups 4/3's and DSLR cameras in the same department, while putting compacts in their own.
I'm sorry, Nikon. Your position has nothing to do with market research, and has everything to do with you not wanting to endanger your cash cow. Thankfully, the world is moving forward regardless of Nikon's choices, and in the end, Nikon will be left with a stale, dying product line and two years of development before they can get reasonable products to market.