AT&T met expectations today with a strong second quarter showing — although when it comes to new subscriber numbers, the carrier still has a reason to be envious of Verizon’s Q2 figures.

AT&T posted a profit of $3.9 billion on revenues of $31.6 billion (wireless revenue was $16.4 billion). Earnings were 66 cents a share, compared to the Wall Street estimate of 63 cents a share. The carrier added 320,000 net new subscribers, surpassing expectations of 230,000, but far below Verizon’s whopping 880,000 new subscribers for the second quarter.

AT&T activated 5.1 million smartphones during the quarter, 3.7 million of which were iPhones. 22 percent of the iPhones activated were new to AT&T, perhaps a sign that the company’s faux-4G marketing for the iPhone 4S has worked out. (Because the iPhone 4S runs on AT&T’s HSPA+ network, which it markets as 4G, the phone performs faster on AT&T than competitors.) The carrier says more than one-third of its smartphone customers use 4G devices (which could include HSPA+ and LTE devices).

Overall, 61.9 percent (43.1 million) of AT&T’s subscribers had smartphones, up from 49.9 percent (34.1 million) last year. The carrier reported its lowest churn (the amount of subscribers who left) ever in Q2 at 0.97 percent. Total new wireless customers, including prepaid, were 1.3 million.

Photo: Matt Hollingsworth/Flickr