This is based on a report from Nikkei whose sources have suggested that Apple’s adoption of the technology could be as soon as 2018. This has led to speculation as to whether or not Apple could be cutting ties with Samsung for OLED display production for the Apple Watch, although MacRumors does point to a rumor that Samsung is looking into micro-LED production with a possible acquisition of a micro-LED manufacturer.
According to an anonymous executive with close knowledge of display technology, “Apple is working very hard to foster the micro-LED technology … the company could push the use of new display tech as early as next year. At this point, Apple is the only company who is able to roll out micro-LED, a technology that is still at an early stage of development, and cover the high costs incurred by the low yield rate.”
As for micro-LEDs finding their way into smartphones, it seems that it might be too early for that due to the larger displays required, and that it will be 2020 at the earliest that we could see smartphones adopt the technology.