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From the following sentence:

Weintraub says that the distortions began with Jobs' first bullet points, in which a slide claims that the iPad 2 is the "First dual core tablet to ship in volume." Weintraub notes that the Dell Streak 7 has been shipping since January, and the Xoom "is certainly shipping in volume as well."

What is the meaning of "ship in volume" and what is the difference from regular shipping?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Ship, as verb, means "be made available for purchase," and it is usually used when referring to products.

Made available in volume means "made available in large amounts."

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1  
    
@mplungjan What does large amounts mean? Does it mean "in few quantities"? –  kiamlaluno Apr 12 '11 at 12:36
    
@Kiam I only commented to give a link to some kind of dictionary. It was not at all a critique of your answer which I voted up. –  mplungjan Apr 12 '11 at 12:56
    
@mplungjan I apologize; I misunderstood what you meant, and over-reacted. –  kiamlaluno Apr 12 '11 at 13:46
    
@Kiam, No problem. I could have been clearer. I did not want to post an answer since it had already been answered –  mplungjan Apr 12 '11 at 14:36

According to TheFreeOnlineDictionary's entry:

volume 4b. A large amount. Often used in the plural: volumes of praise.

So people use volume to mean both capacity and great capacity, amount and great amount. It's similar to how the word quality is used as a neutral descriptor as well as a positive comparator. Consider:

The company shipped quality goods in large volume.

This means the company shipped a lot of high-quality products.

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I believe this means that they ship large quantities of it.

Which in turn means it's expected to be popular.

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Meaning it is AVAILABLE and expected to be popular - and iPad was but that is not the meaning of the expression –  mplungjan Apr 12 '11 at 12:27
    
@mplungjan: True. Sorry about that. –  masarah Apr 12 '11 at 12:33

"Ship" is being used in the first meaning listed for it as a verb in wiktionary: to send something to someone or somewhere. In this particular context it implicitly means shipping from the manufacturer's warehouses to the shops.

"In volume" means "in large amounts"; several other answers have references for this, so I won't poach.

So overall the phrase "ship in volume" means "get into the shops in large amounts." When a product ships in volume, you will be able to find it in the stores (or at least the stores you would normally expect to find an iPad in!) The alternatives in business terms would be "ship small volumes", i.e. getting only to relatively small numbers of shops (probably specialists), and "sample" (a few "samples" of the product are available to a few major customers, but it's not available to the rest of us yet).

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