Mozilla has opened access to its Firefox Marketplace for early adopters and testers using the latest ‘Aurora’ version of its Firefox for Android browser.

Firefox Marketplace is an online store for web apps using HTML5, JavaScript and CSS technology, which will become a key component in the company’s forthcoming mobile-focused Firefox OS.

All apps are currently free but Mozilla said it will add payments, ratings and reviews soon. Support for other mobile platforms are also in the pipeline.

Firefox engineering manager Bill Walker said the goal of opening up the Marketplace is to collect real-life feedback on usability, performance, reliability and content.

The open nature of the ecosystem Mozilla aims to create was also stressed by Walker, so “users have choices and developers have control over their content, functionality and distribution”. This will be facilitated by a number of APIs for app submissions, payments and app discovery.

The HTML5-based Firefox platform is being backed by Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Telenor. The first launch is due to take place in Brazil in 2013 through Telefonica’s Vivo brand.

The first devices to be powered by the OS will be made by TCL, under the Alcatel One Touch brand, and ZTE.