When your competitors outperform you in subscriber adds, it’s best to focus on something else during your earnings call. Last week, AT&T announced they’d added 1.4 million net subscribers, up 20.1 percent from the year-ago quarter. More impressive, though, were their iPhone activation numbers: 3.2 million, owing mostly to the 3GS release at the end of the second quarter. Verizon added only 1.2 million, still a good number, but not quite at AT&T’s level. Instead of harping on that number in their earnings call, Verizon took a different tack, focusing on their future. It’s an especially attractive focus, as Telephony Online explains — Verizon has a ton of new smartphones coming to its lineup this quarter and a shiny new LTE network coming early next year. This makes sense for Verizon. They have a ton of handsets on tap, including the Motorola Droid, which should be closely followed by the Droid Eris, previously known as the Desire. Both handsets will mark Verizon’s territory in the Android department. In addition, they’ll have the BlackBerry Storm 2, which hits shelves tomorrow, and in early 2010 they should get the successor to the Tour, which will feature an optical trackpad in place of the trackball and, the newest Verizon darling, Wi-Fi. Biggest among Verizon’s plans, however, might not come until mid-2010. It appears increasingly likely that AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity will expire during the year, probably around June, when the original iPhone launched in 2007. Verizon could not only jump on the iPhone, but also upgrade it to an LTE device, making it even more attractive. With a solid lineup comprising the iPhone LTE, two high-end BlackBerry devices, and at least two (and likely more) Android devices, Verizon’s portfolio could be tops in the business. If Verizon is looking for a marketing plan, they could consider targeting college students. Smartphone use is growing among them, and figures to continue as more phones hit the market at lower price points. By getting college students on board with their smartphones, Verizon could create lifelong customers. The story of the quarter was AT&T and the iPhone, but Verizon’s earnings report was more about the future. That’s always the gamble — the old proverb about a bird in hand and two in the bush certainly applies here — but it appears there is substance to back Verizon’s claims.