Verizon’s mobile growth engine revs back up, fueled by the tablet

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After a humbling Q1, Verizon(s vz) appears to back on its traditional growth path. It added 1.44 million net new postpaid connections, compared to 539,000 net additions in the first quarter. It even got close to matching the 1.7 million customers brought on board in the final three months of 2013, which is always a huge quarter due to the holidays.

Those subscriber gains helped Verizon post a quarterly profit of $4.21 billion, up 88 percent form the Q1 of 2013, off of operating revenues of $31.5 billion.

As in recent quarters, however, Verizon’s growth was no longer fueled primarily by the smartphone. It sold or activated 8.3 million smartphones in the second quarter, but that resulted only in a net gain of 304,000 new phone connections. Even those low smartphone numbers were a big improvement over Q1, during which Verizon lost about 100,000 phone customers to T-Mobile and…

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