Verizon earnings reveal the pressure from AT&T-Apple's iPhone

When Verizon Communications (VZ) announced its third-quarter results on Monday, they were largely in line with analyst estimates. But they fell short in an area that could be cause for concern: Verizon added fewer postpaid wireless customers than Wall Street had anticipated.

The telecom giant said that Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Britain's Vodafone (VOD), added 900,000 postpaid customers versus consensus estimates of between 1 million and 1.1 million. Even though Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., the latest report stood in contrast to that of rival AT&T (T), which said it activated a record number of iPhone customers over the quarter. Indeed, Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 3GS may have taken the wind out of Verizon's sails.