AT&T sees a brighter Q2, projecting 500,000 new contract subscribers

Gigaom

AT&T(s t) didn’t have the greatest first quarter. It sold a lot of smartphones, but it only brought in 296,000 new contract customers, less than half of archrival Verizon’s 677,000(s vz)(s vod). But things are looking up in the current quarter. AT&T is projecting 500,000 net postpaid additions when it reports its Q2 earnings next month.

Announcing some key metrics ahead of an analyst conference, AT&T credited the contract customer gains to new promotions. The biggest of those was a $100 trade in program for smartphones. But my colleague Kevin Tofel also pointed out that AT&T has been particularly adept at securing some of the industry’s hottest smartphones earlier than its competitors.

AT&T was the first U.S. carrier to start selling Samsung’s new Galaxy S4. It also landed an exclusive on the 64 GB HTC One. We’re heading into a summer quarter where expectations will…

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