Apple’s role as the book publishing industry’s white knight may be over even before it has begun. Cupertino may not be willing to allow publishers as much leeway in setting their own e-book prices as previously thought, according to a New York Times report. After unveiling the iPad Jan. 27, Apple shook the e-book world with its statement on e-book pricing. Several major publishers have agreed to provide content at the iPad’s iBookstore. That sparked a battle with Amazon.com, which capped e-book prices on its Kindle e-readers at $9.99.