"they don’t see the Symbian OS as the problem-just the interface"This is almost a mea-culpa for Nokia - albeit with a certain amount of circumlocution.
The point being that Symbian controlled the operating system and Nokia controlled the Series 60 and Series 80 user interfaces that sit atop the OS.
VisionMobile points out that Series 60 had many more features at launch than the iPhone. Except that is, a next generation UI. Nokia now agrees that the bit of the stack they did not control is OK and the bit that they did control represents a problem.