On Thursday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed at Thursday's press briefing that President Obama has held on to his beloved smart phone, though he did not provide details on what kind of BlackBerry the president is using.

President Obama will use the device to communicate with select staff and a few friends, Gibbs said. He did not elaborate on who is allowed to e-mail Obama.

Gibbs told reporters that He [President Obama] has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends in a way that use will be limited and security enhanced to ensure his ability to communicate, but to do so effectively and to do so in a way that is protected.

Speculation about the fate of the president's BlackBerry has been swirling since Election Day.

Also, Gibbs wouldn't elaborate on how the president's handheld will be protected, or the type of security enhancements that have been added.

One limitation of the BlackBerry, though, is that it does not appear to have been certified by the National Security Agency as secure enough for Top Secret voice communications. If the president wants to keep his BlackBerry it is possible to add encryption and authentication on top of the device.

In history neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton used email during their presidencies, although Bush has claimed he used email before becoming president.