The Firefox marketplace, which will eventually supplement Mozilla’s Firefox browser and Firefox OS, is now available to test for Android Firefox Beta browser users.
While not yet completed, the app marketplace does show off a handful of apps, games, and utilities that will eventually be made available when the Firefox OS debuts in 2013.
At this time, the beta program is only available via the Android mobile OS.
Mozilla officials first showed off the Firefox Marketplace in September, and the program has remained unchanged in terms of its UI. At this time, free apps dominate the marketplace. Because Firefox is aiming its attention at the “low-end” smartphone market, the inclusion of mostly free apps makes sense from a marketing standpoint.
The Firefox OS is based on HTML5, which has made it a cheaper alternative to Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 and Google’s Android OS; however HTML5 has shown mobile data slowdown issues, most famously via the Facebook mobile app which needed to be completely re-built while avoiding HTML5.
Despite HTML5 speed issues, Firefox claims that its OS will be able to run mid-range Android-device apps twice as fast on the Firefox OS.
Among Mozilla’s first partners is manufacturer ZTE and cellular carrier Telefónica.
With the Google Android OS now a globally recognized name and Apple continuing to grab additional market share, it will be interesting to see if a low-end mobile OS provider can enter the market and grab a share of the smartphone OS market from already established and well respected competitors.