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Verizon enjoys a rush of new tablet users as smartphone plans stagnate (updated)

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
July 22, 2014
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Verizon's money machine continues to plow on, but much of its wireless growth this quarter came from tablets, not smartphones -- a trend that started last quarter. Big Red added some 1.4 million net retail connections, of which a whopping 1.15 million used LTE-equipped tablets. Many of those may have come via its new More Everything plan, which only adds $10 to an existing contract for a tablet, compared to $40 for another smartphone. Though all those devices technically count as new connections, Verizon only added 304,000 net phone customers, compared to 940,000 472,000 this time a year ago. Despite that smartphone connection dip, however, Verizon still saw 7.5 percent more wireless revenue ($21.5 billion) and a similar bump in operating profits.

On the broadband side, Verizon added 139,000 connections to its high-speed FiOS internet plans, with 100,000 new FiOS video connections. That makes 6.3 million FiOS internet customers total, figures that won't be hurt by the addition of faster upload speeds. Of course, what a lot of customers want (especially Netflix users) is faster download speeds -- Verizon said that it switched 70,000 customers from copper to fiber over the last quarter, which definitely won't hurt.

Update: Verizon has pointed out that net phone adds this time last year were 472,000 out of 940,000, with tablets and other devices making up the balance -- not 940,000 new phone contracts total. That's still a drop in net phone connection additions year-over-year, but not nearly as much as we reported. Sorry for any confusion that may have caused.

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