Rumor: Stephen King to launch Kindle exclusive today [Update: Confirmed]

Later today in NYC, Amazon is expected to unveil the K2 (we’ve known this since 1/27, but welcome to the party WSJ) and with it an exclusive Stephen King novel, says the WSJ. There isn’t a whole lot else about this supposed King deal, so we’ll have to wait until the press conference at 10AM today. I hope King shows up so I can kick him in the shins for the countless hours of sleep I lost as a child because of “It.” Be sure to check CG for live coverage of the event.

Amazon’s Kindle screen manufacturer Prime View International, however, did shed some light on the previous Kindle and what to expect from the new hardware.

Confirmed: The Steve King e-novel is named UR and the pre-orders will be downloaded as soon as it becomes available.

It’s no secret that Amazon dropped the ball with the first Kindle as it was sold out for most of its tenure and now PVI has said Amazon won’t be caught with its pants down this time around. PVI is currently churning out more screens to meet the expected demand that the K2 is sure to attract. As expected, the K2 will have a slightly larger screen, says PVI.

An iSuppli analyst was also quoted in the WSJ piece saying that there wasn’t any reason that Amazon couldn’t have met the demand for the original Kindle. We may never know the answer to this baffling predicament. Let’s just hope – for Amazon’s sake – that the K2 won’t be sold out all year.

While Amazon won’t reveal how many Kindles were actually sold, Citigroup Inc. analyst Mark Mahaney believes half a million units were shipped based on reports from Sprint Nextel who is the sole provider of Whispernet. In case you’ve forgotten, Whispernet is the service that allows Kindle owners to download books, surf the Web and update magazine/newspaper subscriptions onto their ebook.

But, again, we’ll have to wait a few more hours until Amazon officially reveals the Kindle 2 and other pertitent info.