AT&T Inc's first-quarter subscriber growth weakened as it lost exclusive U.S. rights to sell the Apple Inc iPhone but the impact was not as bad as Wall St feared.

Its addition of 62,000 net contract customers in the quarter was better than the average expectation for a loss of 83,000 customers from seven analysts polled by Reuters.

The reduction from 400,000 additions in the previous quarter reflected the Verizon Wireless iPhone launch in February.

AT&T earnings rose to $3.4 billion, or 57 cents a share, matching the average Wall Street estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. A year earlier it posted a profit of $2.5 billion, or 41 cents per share.

Revenue rose 2.3 percent to $31.25 billion compared with analyst expectations for $31.26 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

AT&T shares were up 25 cents at $30.56 in premarket trading.

Its results came the day before the scheduled report of Verizon Communications, which owns Verizon Wireless along with Vodafone Group Plc. The Verizon Wireless iPhone hit stores Feb 10.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Derek Caney)