The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.NEW YORK ( Trefis) -- Ever since Apple ( AAPL) announced that its latest iPad will ship in a LTE variant, Qualcomm ( QCOM) shares have risen to new highs. With Apple having officially standardized its baseband chips on Qualcomm's since the launch of the iPhone 4S, it is widely believed that the iPad will also sport Qualcomm's LTE chipset. This is adding more fuel to the bullish outlook supporting the stock since the start of the year. Less than three months into 2012, Qualcomm's stock has already climbed by nearly 20% and is inching closer to
AT&T ( T) has also started to actively promote LTE, launching a multitude of LTE smartphones at the CES in January. Sprint ( S) has just started to lay out its LTE network and will have its first markets ready by mid-2012, but expects to aggressively complete the roll-out by 2013. With the carriers increasingly looking to promote LTE, it was becoming highly essential for chipset makers to design low-cost integrated chipsets that conserve space and power. By being the first to bring to market an integrated 28nm LTE modem, Qualcomm has met those needs to a large extent and looks set to ride the carriers' widespread shift to LTE. Click here to find out how a company's products impact its stock price at Trefis. Like our charts? Embed them in your own posts using the Trefis Wordpress Plugin.