Updated AT&T subscriber slowdown story with recent stock price.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- AT&T's ( T - Get Report) wireless contract subscriber growth dropped 88% from year-ago levels as Apple's ( AAPL - Get Report) iPhone finally started selling at rival Verizon ( VZ - Get Report).

Ma Bell said it added a net 62,000 post-paid wireless customers in the first quarter, compared to the 512,000 subscribers it added a year ago when it sold the iPhone exclusively.

Subtracting the 58,000 tablet contract customers added in the quarter, AT&T narrowly avoided -- by 4,000 users -- a net loss of post-paid phone subscribers for the quarter.

Overall, AT&T says it added a total of 2 million new wireless customers in the first quarter, a number that includes 1.3 million so-called connected devices like Amazon ( AMZN) Kindles and MiFi hot spot boxes.

But the loss of the iPhone exclusivity has dramatically slowed down the company's crucial wireless contract customer growth.

AT&T says it wasn't as bad as some people had expected.
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"We're happy with our results. This was the first quarter another carrier was selling the iPhone, and our results show the threat of that competition was way overblown," an AT&T representative said Wednesday.

On the financial front, AT&T posted adjusted earnings excluding one-time items of 57 cents a share, two cents below year-ago levels but in-line with analysts' expectations, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Sales for the first quarter were $31.2 billion, up 2% from the $30.6 posted a year ago and inline with analysts' estimates.

"We posted double-digit wireless revenue growth, and we set new first-quarter records in total net adds, connected device net adds and smartphone sales," CEO Randall Stephenson said in a press release Wednesday.

On the wired side, AT&T added 218,000 customers to its u-Verse TV service, some analysts were expecting 200,000 or more.

AT&T shares fell 31 cents, or 1%, to $30.00 in mid-morning trading Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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